Walking Out Of The Rift

by Randy Murray on September 5, 2012

Far away in East Africa there is a place called the East African Rift. It’s a geologically active area that, at some time in the distant future, will become a new sea.

And it is, to the best of our knowledge, the birthplace and original home of humanity.

Long long ago, our ancestors walked out of the rift and sought to make lives for themselves all across this planet, in places both hospitable and hostile. For over 200,000 years people, indistinguishable from you or me, have sought to make lives for themselves and their families in new and distant places, far from the Great Rift.

It is this image, of people just like you and me, walking out of the rift, that comes to me when I think about the passing of Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon. I remember that moment well. I was nine years old and full of wonder and hope as I watched the grainy images on our black and white TV on that summer night. I had the full expectation that this was just the first of many great steps forward that I would see during my life. We’d build space stations, a moon base, go to Mars and beyond.

But we’ve done none of it. It is one of the great disappointments in my life to see the shortsightedness and lack of vision that has caused us to turn our backs on exploration and expansion.

I have no doubt that tens of thousands of years from now our Earth will be somewhere distant, the way the East African Rift seems to me. I see humans, much like you or me, living across our solar system and perhaps even taking unimaginably long journeys across the stars. I see them making lives for themselves in climates both hospitable and hostile.

Earth is our birthplace, but the stars our destination.

The Walking Out Of The Rift by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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