In those old black and white movies from the 1950s, alien craft always land in Washington, DC.
“Take me to your leader,” he says.
Why did they land here? Why Washington, DC?
That was a long time ago. Would aliens make the same decision now?
The spaceman subsequently reveals he has been monitoring terrestrial airwaves for some time. Through this, he learned Washington was the place to be. It was the nerve center of the strongest country on the planet. DC was not only the capital of the United States, but it was also the capital of the world.
I could bore you from here to Alpha Centauri with stats and figures about why we might not be the Martians’ first choice in the future. Math skills in US students are in decline. So are reading and writing. So is science comprehension. So are college SAT scores.
One statistic actually increasing in the US is the amount of video games kids are playing.
Somewhere, across the world, in a little village is a preteen girl. She rises at 4 am. Why? Because she must help her parents with farming chores. She then packs her homework, which she completed last night by candlelight, into her tattered backpack. She sets out, hours before the sunrise because she must walk eight miles, roundtrip, to school. On her way, she will cross a rope bridge and wade through a small creek. All this just to learn how to read and do math. She will not work in her parents’ village forever. This little girl, with her drive and determination to learn, will go on to be a leader in the emerging world economy.
Imagine you are the commander of an interstellar spacecraft sent to Earth on a reconnaissance mission. While peering upon the Earth through your high-tech gadgetry you spy both versions of these children. One child whose life is made easier by the abundance of science. Who daily reaps the benefits of technology, but has almost no interest in being a part of its continuation.
The other child who knows that education is the key to her future, her village’s future, and the world’s future.
Where would you land the saucer to meet the world’s next leaders?
Let’s hope that little village has a big field.