The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?
Dear Friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial I ran into outside my house last night –
I have given much thought to your request, but unfortunately, I cannot help. Earth is in a state of chaos, made worse by the speed of global communication: what happens on the other side of the world no longer stays on the other side of the world, and the mix is explosive.
This is good in one way: it means that nations fortunate in their ability to sustain life can help those with fewer resources. But it also gives national envy and human greed a wider stage on which to strut its stuff, and the result is not pretty
Humans are very confused at the moment. Traditional values of whatever creed or ideology are under fire, some crumbling, others taking on greater significance. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle, but until we rebalance ourselves, we have no idea where the middle is.
Consequently, no one book, move or song can possibly provide more than a microcosm of truth regarding the human condition.
I can only recommend that you go home and try again later – say in fifty years?
Or even a hundred…