What were they thinking?! 8



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My wife and I like to imagine what someone from far in the future, or not so far, might have to say about what we regard as the ridiculous, illogical, senseless or even destructive habits we humans currently engage in. So why not join us? Imagine a conversation between two humans 1,000 years from now (assuming we survive that long) who come across remains of the civilisation we left behind.

Look at this!” said the man as he pointed to the remains of a large four wheel drive vehicle. “They knew they were running low on oil, they knew the dangers of pollution, they knew they were heating up the atmosphere which had terrible effects on their environment, yet they continued to manufacture larger and larger vehicles which guzzled their precious fuel and which ruined their environment. What were they thinking?”

And speaking of oil running low, even though they knew the reserves were finite did they take any steps to use it wisely? No, they continued with what they called the sport of racing cars! And not just cars: trucks, motorcycles, you name it. If it burned petrol they turned it into a sport. I wonder how they felt when they realised what they had done…and, they neglected to develop any alternative source of energy until it was too late”.

And who needed a vehicle this large to drive children to school, or to go to the supermarket four blocks away? And they got larger and larger and larger! What were they thinking?”

And look at this,” said the woman as she pointed to remains of products found in someone’s pantry. “High energy, gluten free paleo approved fat free quinoa chia seed protein bar…what are these ingredients? They called this ‘food’? What was wrong with actually eating real food, not processed chemicals packaged in shiny wrappers with artificial colours and flavours?”

And did these so called foods make anyone healthier? They ate this ‘stuff’ and ended up getting more and more obese! And did they then encourage their kids to get outside and play more? No, they let their kids sit in front of a video screen playing a sport by controlling animated characters with their thumbs. What were they thinking?”

Hey, look at this: cigarettes. I can’t believe they continued with this habit. Everyone knew it causes cancer and other illnesses yet people kept on lighting a stick of compressed leaves and inhaling the smoke into their lungs for…for what, exactly? What were they thinking?”

Here’s an interesting picture: it shows a woman’s face before and after she had surgery. Now, what was wrong with her face that she needed to have surgery? She looks perfectly fine to me. Now her lips look like balloons. And they vacuumed out liquified fat from under their skin, thinking they’d be instantly thin and beautiful. But that fat would come back unless they exercised more than they ate. What were they thinking?”

Speaking of what they ate, look at this rare bookstore, one of the very last ones. You know that people stopped reading books. Anything longer than 140 words was regarded as too boring. But before that, look at the thousands of different diet books. Everyone was looking for the sure fire, easy way to lose weight. Didn’t they listen to their health experts and just cut down on what they ate, and exercised more? What were they thinking?”

But wait. I just found evidence that people, not just women, would willingly inject a poisonous substance into their forehead and around their eyes to neutralise their nerves so as to prevent their skin from wrinkling. Of course, it made them look like they were wearing a plastic mask. They couldn’t show any emotion. And they did this to look more attractive? What were they thinking?”

“Then there were piercings. Did you know that people would stick needles through their skin, everywhere, it turned out, not just earlobes, and hang chains, or other bits of metal from their bodies? Even around their…”


It didn’t stop there. Did you know that they would also permanently ink their skin with all sorts of weird designs and pictures? Sometimes they’d cover their entire back and more! Didn’t they care about how they would look when they were older? What were they thinking?”

Well, at least they had medical knowledge and understood the importance of vaccinations”.

Don’t be so sure. Here, read this old magazine, it says that someone said that vaccinations were unhealthy and caused disease, and that kids would be healthier if they were allowed to catch a disease and recover from it”.

Hmm, and this was written by a doctor?”

No, just someone who thought she knew more than a doctor. She also wrote that women should steam clean their…you know, their…oh, never mind, it’s too depressing. What were they thinking?” 

Yes, what were we thinking!?

Share your thoughts below!

Zvi Civins

Zvi is a 62 year old retired educator who is now enjoying the time to read, garden, exercise, volunteer and travel. He is looking forward to sharing his stories with the Starts at Sixty community and all of the discussions around them.

  1. Why did it take them so long to acknowledge that they were destroying their own planet? Did they love MONEY more than the children of the future?
    Sure seems that way.

  2. Who fooled them into being so distrustful and scared of each other? Was it the media owned by the very rich who didn,t want anything to change?

  3. If Global Warming becomes as bad as predicted..I don’t think you will find many thinking how wonderful we were. Apart from that issue we are destroying much a wild life habitat, it will be a very sad world if we are the only species left

  4. There was a dinosaur age, followed by a mammal age, both lasted for a period and then finished. Chances are there will be a higher life form that will regard us as as a lower life form just as we regard the dinosaurs. There may be 1 or 2 species that will survive in some form. I think it is the circle of life!

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