A few weeks ago, when I wrote my blog on Martin Luther King, I called him “humanity’s hero” because the civil rights movement and King’s non-violence changed things around the world. As I wrote that, I wondered to myself, “What else might be considered a “humanity’-scale event?”. My wife is teaching global studies this semester, so I’m thinking more about such things, I guess. But I didn’t want to spend my time on the horrors of human life. I see that and think about it enough.
So, here’s my question: If we built a spaceship and left the planet, what parts of Earth history would we want to talk about? What would be the high points of history that changed the whole world or a great portion of it?
So, here’s my list:
1) The Ice Age — big event changed the whole nature of the planet.
2) Invention of Fire — small event somewhere, changed humanity everywhere. Meant you could hang out at home.
3) Life of the Buddha — changed the way people thought about the world, for centuries to come, mostly in the East. Has some weird connection to quantum physics, I think. (How real is real?)
4) Life of Jesus — Changed the way people related to each other. Because he was different than any other human change agent, he changed the way we change things — notably, with love and sacrifice.
5)Life of Mohammed — changed the game from “these are the Chosen People” to “Who are the chosen people?”.
6) The Magna Carta — a view of human rights and power-sharing that was incredible for its time.
7) The U.S’s Declaration of Independence — the start of rebellions for freedom all over the world.
8) (In Britain, I believe,first) Women given the right to vote — nice of us to acknowledge both halves of humanity for once.
9) Einstein — not “The Bomb”, but E = MC2 and relativity.
10) Life of Gandhi/Gandhi frees India — the first (second?) non-violent revolution in human history
11) Life of MLK — Gandhi was not a fluke. Proves there’s a difference between “not being slaves” and “being free to be fully human”.
12) The UN begins. First collection of people from all over the world.
13) Moon landing — first trip off the old home world. Forget the “race for space” — we ALL landed on the moon.
14) The UN Declaration of Human Rights — Great ideas. The US (and a whole bunch of others still haven’t signed it. Still, great ideas.
15) The International Space Station — when the first kid is born out there, what nationality will they be? “Earthian?” The next step “out there”.
16) “An Inconvenient Truth” — We finally start believing that the weather’s messed up and we’d better do something about it.
That’s all I’ve got. I’m open to suggestions.