By: Amanda Ho
It is the year 2Q30 and world peace is the new “trend of the day”. Sparkling clean streets border the blocks, for which you know the reason: no human being has stepped foot on them for years. If you were to chance upon a person strolling past in broad daylight, it would be the police officer on lookout for public nuisances. Yet, of course, they wouldn’t find any (why would they?). Everyone is too busy holed up in their state-of-the-art houses, typing furiously away on the keys of their mini multi-functional technologies. Hungry? Download a pizza. Need to get somewhere? Simply type in your destination and zap! you will be transported there within mere seconds. With the invention of teleportation, air pollution is solved. Cars and public transportation are done away with, alongside the demolishment of car factories and manufacturers.
Spread across blocks are banners with big, bold, red letters. “8 out of 10 people are overweight worldwide; let’s make this place a less squeezed one. Start your day with a walk today!” Drooping and yellowish, they were once the advocates of a marathon event that boasted some 15,000 participants per month. Somebody should pass them a shovel — it seems as though they cannot wait to shrivel up and dig a hole to hide.
The world is as silent and deathly at night as day. Shrubs and trees grow everywhere they can reach and touch; places that had any kind of civilisation in the past have become isolated and unkempt. Save for the luxurious exterior of houses lined perfectly down the road like dumb blocks of wooden scarecrows, everything else is in varying states of ruin. The burger joint down the road which bustled with students and regular customers on weekends is now abandoned and home to a family of hairy snouted animals. If you have 20/20 eyesight and dare to look closely at the graffiti walls, you might even spot the tiny six-legged insects crawling up and down, busy making a home out of the cracks. That is, if you are not still holed up in those four walls with your eyes glued to your 30-inch laptop.
World peace is obviously attained, when less or no interaction between humankind led to the destruction of discrimination and violence. Cutting-edge technology has become the saviour of all problems, from curing life-terminal diseases to saving simple day-to-day hassles like having to open fridge doors and pouring a glass of water; humans have evolved to become limbless imbeciles. Wars no longer occur in the peace of the physical world but are ever present in the world of virtual reality, where petty comebacks and scalding insults are sent in place of bombs and threats. This is the world of 2Q30, where people are granted the dreams of their 2015 selves: the absence of pressure, effort and tediousness. This is the world of the future, if mankind were to continue in relentless pursuit of shallow ideologies and utopianism.
Now imagine this.
It is the year 2030 and world peace is evident. Streets are filled with the hustling and surges of crowds after a long day. People stand on sidewalks to greet and chat till they had to get home for dinner with their families. The sounds of warm chatter and words of greeting fill the air between men and women, the coloured and the non-coloured, bisexuals and heterosexuals, old and young. Air pollution is still an occurrence, but an increasing amount of people have chosen to walk on foot or cycle their way back from work. After all, sustainable living is our responsibility.
Spread across blocks are banners with big, bold, red letters. “8 out of 10 people support gay rights. Start your day by joining our ‘Gay rights are human rights’ campaign and put a smile on someone else’s face today!” The words shine proudly in the morning sunlight. Participant numbers rise steadily by the day.
The world is a community of warmth; we are as busy and as lively as worker bees collecting honey for their beehive. Greenery grows thicker and lusher as the ‘plant a tree today’ campaign celebrates its 10th-year anniversary. The burger joint down the road becomes a hot spot for teenagers and families to gather and hang out. Sometimes it can even be seen hosting parties for events and birthdays with its lights bright and signboard flashing neon; you can see it for miles and miles.
Competition is avid, and existence is as vivacious as can be for mankind in 2030. World peace has not yet been attained, but violence and discrimination has significantly diminished with the advocacy of equality and the single common identity: “human race”; we are trying. Technology continues its gradual fast-paced advancement down the pathway of a road with no end, but humans learn to rely on technology less and their minds more. This is the world as of 2030, if mankind were to be less greedy for selfish benefits and more in favour of compromising for less in order to gain the right things. This is the world as of 2030, where people are granted the advanced lives of 2015 mankind — weighed down with the burden of imperfection but nevertheless fulfilling, enriching and meaningful.
P.S. The author has no intention of forcing her beliefs on you.
P.P.S. Which will you choose to have?