In this important time in the evolution of our species, may we gaze across the looking glass of time and review ourselves honestly? In so doing, we might ask ourselves who we are, who we have been, and who we wish to be.
In our reflections, let us begin with consideration of our paradoxical nature. We are at once primitive yet sophisticated, domineering yet caring, ignorant yet conscious. We are both exterminator and liberator. We are a complex species, capable of many faces.
Perhaps our range in character is cause for hope. As the problems of the 21st century bear pressure upon our landscape, we will be forced to respond. In so doing, might we transcend into the best that we can be? The questions yet unanswered: will we exercise our drive to tame, dominate and exploit other species for anthropocentric greed, or will we embrace the right of all life to be? Will we drag earth’s biodiversity through a bottleneck of destruction, or will we walk gently into our future in harmony with nature? Will we, the most influential species on the planet, consider our enormous power as a right, or will we view it as a responsibility? In response to the seventh mass extinction on the only planetary home our children know, can we show our children will? Will we prove to them we can?
As I reflect upon our capabilities as a species, here are my hopes. I hope that our willingness to nurture will outweigh our instinct to dominate, that our conscious intent will illuminate our way, and that the winds of unification will find our sail. Here is hoping that we will traverse the next decade with all species happily in tow, and that we will show ourselves to be a great and heroic species–keepers of our earth, wise leaders to our children, and an inspiration to the universe.