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Letter: Living for today


Just when I was getting securely comfortable and happy about my life, I happened to reflect on what the famed science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke had to say about the future of human life:

“Only when the stars have flamed through their incandescent youth, in a few fleeting billions of years, will the real history of the universe begin. If there are still human beings living at that time, they will have godlike powers that are incalculable and unimaginable to us at present.” 

At first blush, this statement — a speculative observation but one that comes from a highly educated mind — seemed to make me feel utterly insignificant and unfulfilled. But then, I started realizing that no matter who is living in the future or what powers they may have, they will still have only this blending of space and time that we call “today” in which to live and work.

Furthermore, the lives and capabilities of whatever beings succeed us will in turn be subject to the full transitoriness of this world and will invariably have to yield to more advanced forms of life, culture and technology.

Thus, in a basic sense, all human life, no matter when it exists, has those underlying attributes in common. Therefore I am able to accept my ultimate eradication, because of the knowledge that all life is inevitably destined for change in this way. And, as I have mentioned before in my writing, time does not erase history, but merely buries it.

So my final thought on this matter is that our accomplishments and our other deeds have a sort of permanency within the very broad framework of human endeavours. 

 

Lloyd Bonnell
Corner Brook

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