Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Missing Years: 9 Years of the Future Passed

Time travel.

It has been the dream of people for such a long time, the seeds of which are found in such places as the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, from the ancient Greek Oracles to the modern H G Wells' The Time Machine. It has cropped up in many arenas, from the iconic Dr Who to the absurdism of Groundhog Day. It has been used in countless movies and stories in a wide variety of genres.

But imagine actually being able to travel in time. Imagine, for a moment, going a mere 9 years into the future. Better still, imagine arriving today from just a few years, 9 years, in the past. Just imagine all that has happened since 2008.

We have seen the coming, and going, of America's first Black President.

In 2008 racism seemed to be on the decline. Today, it almost feels as if we have gone back 80 years, what with the unbearable rise in racist attacks and Islamophobia. And we aren't even mentioning the attacks on the rights of women.

The number of refugees in the world nearly a decade ago, while alarming, was not quite at a full-blown crisis stage. Today, displaced peoples number in the many millions, a figure that staggers the imagination.

Back in 2008, just over 25% of the world's population was on the internet, as opposed to more than 50% today. And while we had twitter and facebook, we never dreamed that they would help shape global politics.

In just the past few years, we have seen a resurgence of diseases that we thought were gone, due to the mis-guided anti-vaccine movement.

9 years ago, you had to be on the fringes of society to question the reality of climate change. Today, the denial of science is considered normal in many places in the United States, as more and more countries around the world are finding themselves struggling with the effects of a changing environment.

From the status of minorities to a global shift in the approach to science, many fundamental changes have occurred in such a short time.

But now imagine what would have changed for you.

Imagine that your mother passed away. You would have missed being at her side during her final days, not to mention the funeral. Parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, dearly loved friends: how many of those funerals would you have missed?

Imagine your young grandchild back in 2008, now a junior youth. Your daughter has gone from being in 8th grade to having graduated university. And you missed all that that entails.

You missed the marriage of your son, the passing of your wife, major changes in the field of your career. The list goes on. Life, you can imagine, would not be the same. Things you took for granted upon leaving nearly a decade ago have been irrevocably altered.

But you know, this is not fiction. It is not the case where you come out nice and young, healthy and refreshed. These are stories where people went into that time machine of prison with black hair, and may come out grey. Their skin is now wrinkled. Their health has been broken by their time in prison. This is the story of one man whose heart condition has been exacerbated by his suffering, who, if he were free, would have been able to seek the medical help he needed. This is the story of a woman who went in as the director of an educational institution and is now at the age of retirement, having been denied the opportunity to help so many young adults in their studies. This is the story of many others who have been irrevocably changed by their experience, but who are still dreaming of a beautiful future for humanity. This is the true story of those who were working for the betterment of their community, and society as a whole.

This is the story of those who have been wrongfully imprisoned for daring to hope, and acting on the promise of a better tomorrow.

This is the true story of the Yaran.

Please read about them, see what they are suffering, and know that their greatest desire is to help establish unity and justice, to ensure that others need not suffer as they have. Please read about them, and don't allow them to be in prison for another year.