Two days ago, I wrote about the Consequences of our actions, and how they are often more important than the initial actions themselves. Yesterday, I wrote about what makes humans Special, their ability to learn so much about our world and apply that knowledge to super-humanize ourselves.
Which means now it’s time to apply those lessons into Responsibility… or Onus.
When we not only understand the world, but we understand the consequences of our own actions, we have a unique responsibility to take actions that will impact the world they way we want it to be impacted. We also have a responsibility to take action to reverse or repair the undesired consequences of previous actions.
Presently, we live in a world of incredible social, financial and technological imbalance; we live in a world that gets needlessly polluted by the actions of a relative few, damaging and sometimes ending the lives of countless others; we keep from the poor and hand off to the rich, while the rich put their gains in accounts that benefit no one but themselves; we neglect education, and allow dis-information and ignorance to dominate the public discourse; we poison our bodies with cheap food and unnecessary drugs, then throw our money at medical systems that refuse to apply more than a band-aid to the problem.
But we, understanding our world and knowing how we can impact it, have a singular responsibility to make all that better.
I had all of that in mind when I wrote The Onuissance Cells, my very first stories. Onus means responsibility or sense of duty; and I saw a point in our future when humans would no longer be willing to deny their sense of duty to their planet, their fellow creatures, and each other. “Onuissance” was my coined label for the Age of Obligation that mankind would one day accept and adopt as true stewards of our world. I purposely created the similarity to “Renaissance,” because I see it as an age that will be no less significant in our human future than the Age of Enlightenment was to our human past. It is the attitude humans will have to embrace, if they are ever to reach a state we like to call utopia, or anything remotely approaching it. In fact, it may be the attitude humans will have to embrace, if they have any hope of reaching the 22nd century at all.
We, out of all this planet’s creatures, have the unique ability to guide the future as we desire, as well as the intellect to know what is desirable and what will work. It’s high time we used that desire, intellect and ability to act, and we can make this planet a paradise… the shining world that Gene Roddenberry believed we could attain in Star Trek, or the world H.G. Wells wrote about as the inevitable aftermath of Things to Come. The world we know we want, and with a reasonable amount of effort and dedication, are fully capable of giving to ourselves.
It’s time to embrace the Age of Obligation. Together, we can usher in the Onuissance.