Our family makes frequent trips to Epcot. It’s one of the perks of living 15 minutes away from Walt Disney World. Among the many fantastic attractions in Epcot’s Future World is Spaceship Earth. It’s one of our favorites, not just because of the awe inspiring architecture of the gigantic geometric sphere, but, for me, there is an important message that is so beautifully delivered through the narrator, Judy Dench.
“Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time; and for a brief moment we have been among its passengers. But where are we going? And what kind of future will we discover there? Surprisingly, the answers lie in our past. Since the dawn of recorded history, we’ve been inventing the future one step at a time. So let’s travel back in time together. I’ll show you how our ancestors create the world we know today, and then it will be your turn to create the world of tomorrow.”
The future is certainly in our hands, just as it was in the hands of our ancestors. Our choices are not insignificant to the future even if the effects aren’t easily seen.
Did the sentient beings who first recorded their knowledge on cave walls know that they began paving the way for communication among future tribes and civilizations? Did the Egyptians know when they invented papyrus that they were creating a technology that would shape the course of humanity? Did they know that paper would lead us to a renaissance of innovation? That innovation would take us to an industrial revolution where we would learn to press, print, share, and distribute our knowledge with each other like never before? Did they know books would bring us to a digital space of limitless possibilities? Did those primitive beings know scribbling drawings on rocks would lead their posterity to a technological era of instant global communications?
My hunch says they didn’t. Even so, that doesn’t make their seemingly insignificant contribution of cave drawings any less essential to the future of our species. We are the children of cave people, but also the children of Creators — built from the intelligence, technology, and compassion of our ancestors. We are the product of the evolution of our species, and yet we are also the children of the Gods that came before us.
The future isn’t just tomorrow. The future is in our past. The future is in our present. And more importantly, the future is in our hands. The hands of Creators. The hands of Gods.