She was home. And yet it looked nothing like her home, and all she could see from shore to shore was devastation. Metal barrels full of waste and blazing fires covered the once exquisite island. This place she called home appeared destroyed by a game that had deceived their worlds for millennia.
But, first, let us travel back to a time and space when the island was beautiful, and life seemed carefree.
The cottage by the sea
There it was the small cottage by the sea. In the cottage, three children lived with their goats, chickens, and their pony named Fred.
The children’s cottage was right next to the sea. So much so, that when the sea roared like a lion, the waves would smash against the cottage windows. And when the waves beat the windows, the children laughed. They laughed at the presence and power of nature. This magnificent display of power by nature reminded the children that they are only one part of this cosmic adventure called life.
Sometimes strangers came to their enchanting and windswept island. The strangers seemed sad and grey to the children. These strangers had forgotten, or so it seemed, how to live in the present. It appeared to the children the strangers only lived half a life. It was preventing the strangers from using their gifts and imaginations to their full potential.
The strangers brought with them marvelous colorful inventions, and the children called these inventions Things. These Things seemed very important to the strangers, but these extraordinary Things were, often, thrown away too soon. The children thought this was a misuse of the stranger’s miraculous imaginations and grand resources.
The strangers seemed to be very large compared to the children. As the children mused, they thought that this grown upness surely must mean your imagination gets bigger and more fun! Sadly this did not seem to be the case.
The children saw the strangers were always chasing new Things, like trying to catch the wind. This chasing seemed odd to the children. There was much fun to be had on their little island away from Things. The children hoped the visitors would stop admiring their lifeless Things, and enjoy the gifts you find while being present to the living beings that are around you.
In the summertime, a Professor would sometimes visit the children’s small island. The Professor had a kind heart and always wore a warm and welcoming smile. The children thought the Professor looked different from the other strangers. As such, they decided the Professor still had a heart light — that shone bright like a beacon of hope.
Now the children did not know what a Professor was. Because titles to them did not matter much, Fred, their beloved pony, had taught them what matters most is to be kind to each other.
Titles, awards, trophies, and winning does not make you a better living being.
You are either kind, generous, and helpful. Or worried someone will steal your ideas, titles, and Things. It seemed the most critical matter to the strangers was collecting more and more Things.
The invention of Things didn’t start out as a bad idea. In fact, Things were a gift to make life more enjoyable and fun! Along the stranger’s life journeys collecting Things became their very life. And, sometimes, this turned the strangers against each other and sparked unhealthy competition. This type of game is gnarly and harsh. Where pride and ego are at large, dimming your heart light and making anything invented from this type of game tainted from the very start.
The Professor’s gift
In the summer, the children would be on the beach playing. In-between their games and fun, they would sometimes sit and listen to the Professor talk about inventions. To the children, the Professor’s inventions seemed otherworldly and almost unimaginable.
After resting for a while to listen to the Professor, the children would return to being present and playing on their beach. The beaches on their island were spectacular — vast spotless beaches that emptied out of all their sea during the day and became nature’s marvelous playgrounds.
The Professor often talked more about one of the magical gifts invented. The Professor hoped to give the world this gift to help everyone. The magical transformation, the Professor called technology.
The gift of technology could transport you to other worlds. Help you stay in touch with friends without leaving your own living room! Send money home to help loved ones. And even create new worlds to play in! Technology seemed to have many, many excellent qualities. Actually, there are too many qualities to list!
The children and the Professor hoped that this gift would restore everyone’s hidden heart lights. Because it seemed everyone from the stranger’s world would have more time for themselves with the gift of technology.
The following summer, the Professor returned to the island. It is worth you knowing that time on the island moves slower than in the stranger’s world. The children were eager to hear about the gift of technology.
The Professor explained that like Things, the creation of technology had started with good purposes, then bad actors took over. Making some of the technology commit terrible acts. The bad actors caused castle walls to fall, put forts under assault, and held many castles and fortresses to ransom. The Kings and Queens did their best to solve this problem with what they had, but it wasn’t always enough to prevent the bad actors from trying again.
The Professor was sad wanting to fix this terrible mess, and this time other strangers wanted to help build the technology.
The new building blocks
While sitting down to afternoon tea with the children, the Professor told them that they were creating a new technology type. This new technology could enhance the old technology. Building new foundations and making the castles more secure, like never before. And they hoped to help all people prosper this time.
But, the Professor had a difficult time convincing everyone of the importance of rebuilding. Many did not understand why they had to rebuild and could not just use the technology they already had. The Professor explained that the new technology does not care for competition or old ways of doing business. Getting the foundations right is critical to help solve the chaos and problems created by the old technology. But this new technology and way of being will take time, perseverance, and some risk, said the Professor.
The time for tea
The Professor sat drinking tea and looking out at the peaceful blue sea, wondering how they could bring everyone on this exciting and liberating new journey.
The children saw the darker clouds roll in over the sea, and they knew winter was coming.
The World 4.0: The Professor and the luminary compass is a short fiction story, and something a little different from my usual blockchain insights. However, if you would like to, please check out my other society, culture, and tech ideas here or follow me on Twitter!
Stay safe, be well, folks!