Less Fear

Less Fear
Illustration by Marc Ngui

JANUARY 14TH, 2123

The green vines climb and reach the top of the city’s skyline. Leaves and branches bursting out of the windows and balconies of a bright skyscraper – absorbing the light of the sun to power all of its inhabitants. There’s just as much life of flora as there is the life of people in the building. I look across the park to my right and see how the people have almost merged with the many native trees and plants that occupy the park, because there are always more plants than people – wherever you go in the city, whatever street, alley or hallway. Everyone is dressed in clothes that don’t quite fit and have so many patches added on over time with every new owner, that it may as well be a new garment. There is only one style – a mix of second-hand clothes that everyone styles to fit their own personal taste, unique. The soul is the only beauty standard.

Feeling around in the pocket of my favourite, slightly tatty denim jacket, I check that my well-loved digital camera is still secure in my pocket. I always take it with me on my regular walks to the wildly natural forest that completely encompasses the city. The forest is my favourite place to go and no matter where you are in the city, it’s only a ten-minute walk away maximum since the city is only a kilometre wide, making it long and narrow in shape, but reaching up high as it is mostly skyscrapers – so as not to take up too much space on the ground.

After walking for a couple more minutes, I turn left around a corner and only a few metres in front of me is the edge of uninterrupted, pure nature. Stepping onto the soft dirt as opposed to the harsh concrete of the city releases something in my mind, my thoughts flow steadily through my consciousness without disruption. Gazing up and around at the gentle serenity that swallows me as we become whole, the unchanged simple but perfect beauty that is the way the light shines through the broken leaves onto the glassy water that shines back up at the sun. An unparalleled beauty that humankind could never possibly replicate. Eventually my thoughts flow into speculation of the changes that humanity has gone through, to evolve into what we are today.


JANUARY 14TH, 2023

Chaos, disaster, chaos. That’s all the news plays these days. One headline tells you that the heavy floods up north of the country are the worst they have ever been, but you already know that because most of the fresh food is unavailable in the supermarket thanks to the floods that have destroyed crops, homes and habitats. This contrasts so heavily with the nation’s worst ever bushfires less than a year ago that spread across the whole country, which we as a nation still have not recovered from the devastation. They nearly wiped-out entire species, heaven knows that so many are endangered already, many of these are what they call the ‘iconic’ species of the country – yet that is not enough to force protection from us. The stuffed toys that get sold in stereotypical touristy gift shops might one day be memories and animals of past legends.

Change the channel. This headline shows armies heading out in tanks, following orders of their leader who cowers behind his walls, hiding behind a camera. They are ‘taking back’ land that supposedly belonged to them once, but you know that really the land doesn’t belong to anyone who is willing to bomb and kill just to claim it ‘theirs’. This is just one war, there are more. Other countries are slaughtering their own people, for just being who they are – or not following the suffocating laws that have been set in place against them. This is much too common to cause enough outrage anymore. You wonder how there is even a planet left – or for all of its populace to still be alive.

The force that enforces the laws is supposed to protect. Yet most people are afraid of them, apprehensive at best. They sometimes arrest people who are just trying to voice their opinions about their parliament, they get arrested and sentenced. Yet someone who has committed a serious crime can get the same amount of time as someone who participated in a non-violent protest. As long as you have enough money for a good lawyer you can get away with anything. In this system there is no good or bad, only how much you’re willing to pay. And they call this justice. This same system has too often put targets on the backs of people who are of colour, different ethnicity, someone who wears religious apparel, or even someone who just happens to fit their predetermined stereotypes. Prejudice has too much control over our law enforcement.


JANUARY 14TH, 2123

Now I’m back on the streets of the city, looking for something to fill my empty stomach. Unlike the old times I have been speculating about, food with animal products is incredibly uncommon, especially meat – which is extremely rare to come across. Waiting in the line outside a takeaway food truck there are two policemen in front of me waiting. I think about how safe and relieved I feel when I see them. They are responsible for helping keep the forests wild, the streets clean and friendly for all walks of life – human, animal, plant – the act of compassion and peace is the most valued and important in today’s society. The police have ensured that every living is equally protected, and the ‘class’ system is now something that is taught in history at school – something that everyone has equal access to. The legal system is also different now, everyone has the right to choose whichever representative they would like – regardless of money. Fairness cannot be bought, and we live in less fear of ourselves.


JANUARY 15TH, 2025

The climate change rallies outside parliament house are becoming bigger and more frequent. There is so much support that the crowd spills out across the streets as there is not enough room for all the protesters on the lawns. The topic of climate change is always the first spoken about in our government, and is what the public votes for. Our leaders have changed since the days of empty promises and hollow, vague statements. Our leaders represent the people. The image of parliament is starting to change – the faces shown range from white to black, indigenous to immigrants, male to female and everyone in between. There are goals, we are on our way to meeting them, and the environment is showing it too. There weren’t any bushfires last summer, for the first time since anyone still alive can remember. The awareness for the environmental crisis has only grown and grown, and so is the care that people show for the planet. The cities are quieter now on the streets, without the diesel cars the smooth silent sound of electric even makes the streets seem calmer. The new generation that is emerging is so aware and compassionate for the planet that is our home, through publicity for the cause and values that are being passed onto them from their elders and through being taught about the environment and how to care for it at school. The statues of past oppressors and idols that ruined the way of life that line the outskirts of parks and sidewalks all around the world are finally being torn down. The future of humankind is looking brighter than it ever has. These are the results of persistent protesting. I wonder what statues they are going to put up in their place.


JANUARY 14TH, 2123

As I’m clutching the small brown paper bag that contains my lunch – consisting of pumpkin soup grown from the local community garden - for today, I happen to wander past the park in the city centre. The faces of heroes old and new are looking out across the city towards the distant horizon. I can easily recognise the familiar faces of ecological heroes of the past such as Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough have been carved into stone, their actions and legacies will forever be remembered as the effect it has left on the earth can be seen anywhere and everywhere. Statues that were once of the men who conquered land are now of people who have saved the land.