I recently came across many articles, documentaries and talks throughout the internet that spoke with the popular terms of “Colonizing Planet Mars”. I had to pause each time, because I felt really uncomfortable with the way the narrative of having step foot in this new planet in our solar system was being presented. Seeing mars, in a new way and all it’s spectacular grandeur, marked the start of a new age of human exploration in space and I believe can bring a revolution of values in human consciousness if we allow it to, and for that to happen we have to be extremely cognizant on how we frame the narrative of this next dimension of our human story on our planet.
My discomfort stemmed from an oppressive language rooted in the practice of domination that has really separated and destabilized native people and populations around the world. Over and over, if you look throughout history this language has severed our bond with nature and the cosmos, and in the process blinding us to our own humanity and our capacity to authentically understand what human dignity really means. It has led to great injustices that are still very much being felt all around world today, looking at the continent of Africa as a popular example or right in our own backyard with the systemic imbalances in the lives of Native Americans and the mass incarceration we see of African Americans and minorities. The existential environmental challenges this planet is facing also marks this apparent disconnect and imbalance.
How we frame a story can often define what is possible or not possible, it is would be in our detriment to romanticize the Mars exploration as a process of colonization. Yet again we would risk repeating the same mistakes of the past and creating disconnected systems.
I believe the viewing of Mars is a catalytic force that can expand our awareness on what it really means to be human and how do we live with each other sustainably.
It’s red terrain really taps into DNA of bigger questions, the ones that are especially critical for the evolution of our cultures towards greater diversity and application of inclusive innovative approaches that can resolve conflicts and systemic social problems around the world. Ideas are alive and we have to be careful how we frame the next steps of our human story in this solar system.
The culture of the future will be defined by our ability to gain greater awareness on how interconnected we are as humans and the hard choices we have to make collaboratively to address the complexity of issues in these changing times.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons – Kputt – SpaceEngine