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A Capsule Letter to a Human From The Future

Despite everything — I choose to believe.

Oren Cohen
Oren Cohen
Photo: Licensed from iStock.

Hey there, human!

You might see this letter a year after it was published, ten years, twenty years. My imagination is thinking that you are reading this after even a thousand years passed by. I don’t know you but I need to share some things with you.

It’s 2020 right now, and it only seems like we strengthen our connection to the internet. Perhaps in your time, there are no ethernet cables, and the internet speed is in the terabytes or more. Probably in your era, computers are now part of your body and not an external machine that makes you type on a keyboard to make letters appear on the screen. I make it sound like I’m from early 2000. Well, actually, I did live through that as well. I was born in 1987 and therefore had a childhood with no internet at all.

Those were the days. But I’m not here to reminisce on the past.

My “roommates” in 2020 might find this letter boring. But, for some reason, I felt the urge to write some words for you. I know we will never meet. I will die in probably under sixty years from today, and your grand-grandparents might not even have been born yet.

Part of me is thinking, well, maybe this letter will go where I can’t. Maybe it will be the thing that remains after we have all been forgotten and returned to the earth. And yet, my soul yearns for a better future. A brighter future.

God knows I’ve been through a lot. And for you, that God might have done some wondrous things. Maybe that God revealed themself to you and made you miracles. Perhaps they decided to “start over” like Noah’s ark, and you find this in some remnant from the past.

Most likely, they might have stayed silent and made you doubt if they exist.

But religion isn’t the purpose of this letter.

A pandemic plagues Earth of 2020. In your history books, these years might be the turning point for Humanity — for better or worse.

The Coronavirus has killed and keeps on killing hundreds of thousands of people every day worldwide. And as I write these words — in August 2020 — there is still no commercial-grade vaccine.

I’ve been at home for nearly five months straight. I haven’t affectionately touched another human being for the same amount of time.

I hope that in the future you will never give up on hugs. They are the best form of physical touch that humans can share. A good hug can make you forget your woes even if for the briefest of moments because we shy away from hugs that last more than 1–2 seconds.

And while yes, Humanity is suffering from a pandemic, this will not always be like this. We were not designed to stay away from each other’s touch. It’s my sincere hope that this pandemic and whatever life may lead after it, will not result in a cultural shift that condemns touch.

But, my dearest human, the Coronavirus isn’t the only thing that plagues our time. Unfortunately, there is so much more.

Are you kind? Please tell me you are. Otherwise, the following words will hold little meaning to you.

People of every kind populate the world I live in. Some are kind, loving, healing. They are the people that I want to be around and lift me up.

But, there are others as well. Racist, Homophobic, Fascist, all sorts of words to describe people who have one thing in common: they can’t accept someone different from themselves.

Your history books might depict the winner of these trials and tribulations in a favorable light because the winners always write history. Nevertheless, there is a straightforward truth to keep in mind, no matter these history books: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

I genuinely hope you are kind, loving, and that you live and let live. I hope that someday in the future, people be who they want to be without oppressing others. I hope they see skin color but in the name of diversity and not in the name of segregation. I hope they see the many colors of the sexual fluidity rainbow in the name of creativity and not in the name of condemnation. I hope they see that the neurological spectrum is vast and that there’s no real “normal” when talking about the human brain.

Speaking of the human brain, I do hope in your time it is more understood than it is today. We know bits and pieces, but the bigger picture? A complete mystery.

I hope that for you, the human experience is much different. Mine hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows.

My neurological system is not typical to all humans. I belong to a group of around 15–20% of the population who have slightly more sensitive nerves. It’s called Sensory Processing Sensitivity. It makes me think hard and deep about the things that happen in my life. It makes me burn out faster than most. It makes me understand people on a deeper level while also suffering from anxiety in sometimes the weirdest of ways. You will probably be the first person in my life who I don’t know how they feel before I open my mouth to talk to them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Being a Highly Sensitive Person, which is the name for people with my sensitivity, is not a disease. You don’t contract it in life and have to deal with it. No. It’s a trait. You’re born with it, and you can’t shut it down.

Now, imagine a person with my sensitivity, having their dreams crushed by debt, suffering from obesity, and running against the ticking clock on my grey follicles to make something out of this life. Sometimes I feel like I have too many ideas but little stamina to do something about them.

At this rate, perhaps this letter will truly be my legacy. But I don’t want that. I strive for more. I work hard every day.

I’ve given up on the fact that I may never be truly happy. You know, bursting with joy, smiling from ear to ear and have no care in the world. I’ve given up on the fact that I may never have a six-pack or higher self-esteem. I’ve given up on the fact that I might find myself aging with debt in the bank — just like my parents did for so many years of my childhood— even though I tried to crawl my way out. I truly did and missed out on so much just to invest my time to get out of that black hole. Unsuccessfully.

I’ve given on a lot but one thing: you. I haven’t given up on you.

I hope that you will never have to work this hard because, by the time you arrive on this earth, we would have lowered the bar for you. Perhaps you will never need to learn how to drive a car or a bicycle because you’ll learn how to drive a flying car or your personal jet. Perhaps there would be automatic cars, something that starts to happen in the world.

Now, don’t feel pity for me. I’m not looking for donations. Even if I did, you would be far too late to give because I would be dust by the time you come around.

Perhaps, what I came here to say all along is that despite all of the negativity surrounding me and the time I live in, I choose to believe.

Yes, I’m saying that, and it might sound a little far fetched. I told you above about the world I live in and the hardships of my personal life, so why should I believe?

I don’t know. I only know that I choose to believe in you. I wish to believe that the brightest part of Humanity still exists. That the Humanity I love will prevail. The huggers and the listeners and the dreamers will shape the world of tomorrow.

I believe in you, and I’m already long dead by the time you read this.

Will you believe in yourself?