Exploring the Human Civilization Enigma - Episode 6

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Morning is about to break; you ask yourself: Wont these creatures ever leave my room? Why don’t they utter a word? Why don’t they move or make any gesture? You want to start your new day with your usual morning habits, but they are with you in your room and they still did not tell you their secret.

Suddenly, they convert to a human form; a very tall man, the other is very fat, and the third is very short. You feel relieved with this sudden change in their looks; all your feelings of astonishment and insecurity fade and are replaced by other feelings and more questions: What will you tell your parents about the identity of these three persons? You are waiting for them to continue their conversation with you.

The tallest starts talking, saying: “We appreciate your patience and apologize for any negative feelings you have felt because of our breaking into your house and your room”. The fattest continues in his usual way but in his new human look: “It is time my friend to know who we are and where we come from”. The shortest intervenes: “Our home is not so important; you just need to know that we have come from a planet that was similar to yours, which you have neglected”. The tallest interferes, saying: “We invite you my friend to visit our planet, which precedes your planet in terms of reforming and taming the ways of living”.

He looks at the fattest and then continues: “On our planet, children are taught to practice the utmost responsibility, and are directed to the careers that comply with their passions and abilities. They are born in very good health from healthy parents after deep thought and full preparation from the mother before deciding to get pregnant”. He looks at the shortest to continue as if the three of them are reading from a book; the shortest then says: “Children are raised in the best health conditions; their natural desires to play and learn are enhanced by the latest and most effective educational tools. Their hands, eyes, and other organs have all the possible opportunities to train and grow. Children on our planet know how to draw and write, how to express themselves, and use a large variety of symbols that help them expand their scope of thinking. We also teach them the meanings of tenderness, kindness, politeness, and astuteness, because everything that surrounds them on our planet is fragile and gentle”.

He stops and looks at the tallest, signaling him to continue; but you stop them to ask: “You say your planet “was”? Does that mean that you have faced the problems and obstacles we are facing here right now and you got over them? Does that mean that you were like us one day? I am very interested in hearing what you will say and I am sorry for the interruption”.

The tallest nods in agreement and continues: “On our planet, the children’s abilities to imagine are monitored, encouraged, and developed. Children are taught the history of their world and race, and how human beings on your planet, as on ours, struggled—and is still struggling—to leave behind their previous narrow, animalistic horizon, their ego, and their selfishness, towards the dream of Utopia, which they still do not fully understand.

He signals to the fattest, who says in an automated manner: “On our planet, children’s wishes are softened and improve; they learn from poetry, successful figures, and the love of those who surround them in order to overcome their worries and concerns. On our planet, children’s curiosity is directed towards science, harnessing their ego and ambition into accomplishing joint achievements with their peers. When they grow up, children pursue the careers they love and are attracted to; they choose what they do”.

Their words intrigue you, so you ask: “Sorry my friends, but you are talking about a utopian situation that I don’t think will ever develop on our planet. However, I want to know what happens to a lazy or unproductive person on your planet?” The fattest rushes to answer your question: “If a person is lazy or slow, he will not cause a great damage to the community; on our planet there is room for everyone. However, he will not find anyone who loves him, he will not grow or develop, and he will lose a lot of our abilities that you have witnessed some of tonight”.

“On our planet, we do not love those who lack the enthusiasm and will, those who do not want to develop their abilities and capabilities.” The shortest interrupts: “We do not have games or performances to be watched. Our world is so beautiful and wonderful for spending vacations, but not for those who do not do anything”.

The tallest continues: “Our dear friend, a huge miracle happened on our planet and it is hard to be explained or comprehended. Thousands of centuries ago, we were just like, made of flesh and blood, with a fixed head, hands, and feet, and we did not have the ability to overcome gravity, so we were bound to the ground just like you because of this gravitational force”.

You listen to all this with an open mouth as all of this—according to you—is just a fantasy; you cannot do anything but listen. The tallest continues talking: “The miracle that freed us from the prison of our bodies and from the era of chaos is our passion for knowledge and exploration, and the desire for deep thinking in order to solve our problems”. The shortest adds: “And do not forget our ancestors’ desire to play and have fun, which continued well into adulthood till it became an insatiable instinct for knowledge and creative exploration until—many centuries later—they became as you see now; free creatures with limitless abilities”. The conversation stops when your phone alarm rings to wake you up.

Illustrations by Mohamed Khamis.

The episode was published in SCIplanet printed magazine, Spring 2015 issue.

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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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