My Poem “Say No To Dystopia”

When I woke up this morning,
in my mind I felt like I had travelled
back in time to the year 1989 –
over thirty years in the past –
to a time in my life
when I began to become absolutely fascinated
by films and TV shows that depicted
what life would look like thirty years,
a hundred years, a thousand years in the future;
and this morning, while watching
a film called ‘Millennium’ –
a movie that centred around
the prospect and the concept
of time travellers travelling
back and forth in time
to save people before they died
and transporting them into the future –
I realized that almost thirty years before,
as a child, I was most likely watching
the same film that I was watching now on DVD
back then on VHS tape,
and while just as completely
enthralled now as I was by
what I saw depicted back then
I realise now that at the time
I did not fully understand what
the film trying to say.

Every film, every TV show, every book
whose story takes place
in a future setting and at a future time
always attempts to predict an accurate
depiction of how the world of tomorrow
will look, sound, feel,
and what the life of our descendants
will be like based upon an extrapolation
of the direction that some things
seem to be logically taking –
such as technology, fashion,
and the way that people treat one another –
and sometimes the world to come
is predicted to be one of hope, optimism,
universal understanding
and peaceful coexistence,
while some cautionary tales
predict that we may all be slowly
but surely spiralling into a world
that can only be described as being
dystopian
in which the children of tomorrow
have to live a hard and painful life
because of the short term actions
and mistakes of our present
which to them would be perceived
as their past.

Science Fiction writers and futurists
have been trying to warn people
what the future might be like,
and what the future world might
look like, if we – humanity –
do not stop and take a good, long,
and deep look at ourselves
while asking ourselves
where we are going wrong
and what we can do to build a better
world to leave for future generations
to be thankful for.

At this moment in time,
it sometimes feels like the world
is teetering on the edge of a precipice
from which there will be no coming back from:
a potential future that has been prophesied about
in science fiction tales for almost
a hundred years –
from H.G. Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’
to films like ‘Waterworld’ ‘Mad Max’,
‘The Matrix’, ‘Blade runner’,
and ‘The Terminator’ movies,
which all depict possible versions of our world
and a dark vision of the future
in which Earth’s natural resources
are in short supply or have been completely depleted entirely
and humanity is mostly living a day to day existence of not always knowing
how they are going to survive
and if it is possible for them to leave
a legacy going forwards that generations
to come will be proud of.

Humanity always has a choice
about which direction they want to go
in terms of technological interdependency,
the destruction of the natural world,
and the way they we take
what we have for granted –
and time will definitely tell
whether the predictions of those who either predict a positive version of the future
or those who predict a negative version of the future will ultimately be judged to be right;
however, what is as clear as a crystal ball
is that whatever happens in the future
to humanity and to the world around us,
every one of us are all the architects
of what has yet to come
and by influencing the people
in a position of power now
to want to give the gift of optimism
for the children of the future –
some who might not even be born yet –
we can be a part of making a potential
utopia by promising to keep
the predictions already made
of a potential world-wide armageddon
or an inevitable dystopia
tales of science fiction
that will never become a reality.

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