This I Believe

Alec - Lake Forest, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

People often think about apocalyptic events that will one day challenge life on Earth. Many books and movies use this scenario as a platform to express ideas and beliefs.

Imagine this situation…

I no longer see honking cabs rushing through the grid of New York City. Traffic signals still repeatedly change colors for cars and people at intersections. I expect to see masses of people descend from the skyscrapers at noon for lunch. Instead, the streets are silent except for the rustle of newspapers drifting in the breeze. It happened so suddenly. Like the Bubonic Plague in Medieval times, an unstoppable disease has ravaged the human population. I think that it has been about eight days since I last saw another person. But, for my own health, I think it’s best that I haven’t been exposed to someone with the sickness. It has not been determined where the disease came from or how it spread. Nonetheless, it has eradicated life around the globe. I cannot help think about whether life will be able to fight and persevere.

Something tells me that this is only a phase in time. I believe that there will be a continuation of life. It has certainly been proven that animals and plants have the ability to adapt and adversify. The persona of life is not one to sit back and accept defeat. In every living being is the fight and energy to resist death.

There will continue to be specialized environments for life in every niche or crack of this planet. Without astronomical change like the sun going supernova, life will continue. After the dinosaurs died from the face of the earth, the process of evolution did not end. Prehistoric bacteria thrived and divided in lightless heated thermal vents between the deepest crevices of the ocean. I think this pandemic in many ways is the same as an ice age. It killed off almost every living creature. However, those few that did live by chance adapted and evolved into warm-blooded mammals. This adaptation provided the opportunity for a second chance and the possibility of rebuilding life on the earth.

Even today, life fights to continue its existence. A precedent for the fight for life has already been established. Mankind, every year, is responsible for the extinction of animal and plant species. Although species become extinct every year, new species are also discovered. A struggle exists in nature that attempts to balance and compensate for loss or gain of life. Natural selection limits life by enabling only the most fit individuals within a species to survive. Even when mankind purposefully wants to destroy life, life cannot be completely eliminated. Antibiotics are distributed to the sick in order to treat the presence of bacteria. However, these drugs only knock down bacteria and are unable to kill every single chain of bacteria.

Again, I believe that the evolution of any remaining life will prevail and ultimately adapt and evolve. As I wait for the inevitable, it is only a matter of time before the precedent is repeated as life overcomes adversity.