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How Far We'Ve Come This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My mother tells me the most important historic event of her life was Apollo 11, which took three men to the moon. I believe the most important event in my lifetime will also have to do with mankind's impulse to conquer the unknown. Most believe that NASA space exploration is a fabulous endeavor, well worth the funding. Yet there are those who oppose the entire idea of space exploration for good reason.

After such a momentous occasion as the landing of the Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner robot and equipment on the Red Planet, it may be hard to understand people who oppose the idea of space travel. These people largely believe that we should clean up our Earth, and straighten out our problems first. And some of these are very major problems, too.

For a planet "on the brink of galactic conquest" we are awfully childish and crude. For example, many people in America, proud of their nation and planet, may not know that at least one third of the world's population will go to bed hungry tonight. Or if tomorrow is an ordinary day, six people will be murdered in New York City. Tomorrow waste products from our enormous use of natural hydrocarbons will be released in massive quantities into our atmosphere, causing global warming; and, if tomorrow is an average day, a hundred species of plants and animals will become extinct because of man. Religious and racial hatred will not see its end anytime soon, no matter what humans accomplish. If there is a higher power, I believe it, knowing these facts, our exploration and accomplishments, would still consider us an unevolved race, unable to settle differences and unite as a group, not even worthy of companionship.

So, the next time you think about how powerful a species we are, with outstanding and extraordinary thinking power unparalleled, think of how little we've really been able to do to settle our differences and stop fighting among ourselves. And, if you do try to make excuses for these obvious faults of humanity, try to make every one of them with an unbiased mind, not disrespecting anyone or anything, but just thinking of how far we've really come. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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