Avatar is a marvelous movie that seems so real, yet, isn’t.  The first time I watched it was mesmerizing and I could barely follow the plot for absorbing the scenery.  You have to really admire people with that much imagination to write such a wonderful story and those who created the visual concept to come up with such an enchanting world.  Oh, to be that inventive.  However, today while doing some research, I happened on a comment that used the word avatar in a sentence.

It had never dawned on me that avatar was a word in our English language.  It’s obviously not a commonly used word which made me curious enough to look it up in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Avatar has several definitions including “an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person.”  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avatar)  This isn’t the type of word that arises during normal conversation and I wonder how those writers knew the word.  Did the word come first or did the embodiment of a new people demand the search for the word? 

However, it came about the people they created were warm, loving, spiritual people who in some way reflect the way we all want to be.  They were a tight knit community who cared for each other and were forced to defend themselves from an attack of those who had lost their moral ethics in search for survival in a good versus evil manner.  Their leader depicts the core values of this hated society and, yet, there is an understanding of what they are trying to do, survive. 

Which leads us to wonder which side we would fall on if we were placed into the same position. AFP, Agence France-Presse, recently published an article which was picked up by Yahoo News entitled, “Planet could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110220/ts_afp/scienceuspopulationfood).  It discusses the effect of a population growth by 2050 on our world.  It warns of a problem feeding the nine billion people who will be alive then.  This really isn’t news since the same arguments were made in the 1960’s about our population today.  It isn’t too much of a reach to assume that there will be more such arguments made in 2050. 

While many of those commenting made light of the article or boosted their own biased opinion, there is a nugget of truth to the article.  The fact is that as a planet we are absorbing more and more people who need food, shelter, and safety.  Those nations which have plenty share with those who don’t.  We believe that we can handle it and trust that our scientific research can keep up with the needs of the people.  Extrapolating this data forward, it seems impossible now that there will be more people than we can feed.  But what happens if we can’t in the future?  Do we become the people destroying others in the search for that one thing that promises survival?

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9 Responses to Avatar

  1. Leo says:

    I remember talking about this in one of my classes in college. As a country moves from from agrarian-based to a more industrialized society children move from being a necessity to becoming an added expense. That role of children plays into parents minds to differing levels. What ends up happening, though, is that when needed, parents have many kids to take care of the crops, work, etc. This also aids in population explosion.

    When kids become more of an expense parents are less likely to have many kids and have less. In our case, we had two, which creates a 1:1 growth. A lot of our friends, though, have only had one child (for various reasons). The end result of that is a long-run population leveling or decrease.

    Regardless, if we begin running out of supplies, I say let's go find an alien planet and take all of their stuff. I am sure they will not mind. 🙂

    • cwurschmidt says:

      One thing you haven't taken into account is the Catholic viewpoint toward birth control which while not strictly observed in the more advanced nations is observed more so in third world nations. Since none of us will live long enough to see what happens it is something to think about. Have Asher start looking for that alien planet. Maybe he will find it in time.

      • Leo says:

        Yeah, but most third-world countries are not industrialized like we are, and thus fit into the first category of child bearing so it still fits within the model.

        I do think you are right, I better prepare Asher to become an astronomer so he can find us that planet. 🙂

  2. Doris says:

    Carol, I've watched Avatar several times now and can't decide if love it more for the story line or for the visuals.

    The first time I came across the word "avatar" was in an online computer game; the next time was an online catalog that let you put in your measurements (I think it was LL Bean or Lands' End) and see how their clothing would fit on your body. I'm hoping that before I die, I can create my avatar online and order clothing custom made to fit.

    Leo, …and are we preparing Bechan to be the astronaut who travels to the planet that Asher finds? LET'S HEAR IT FOR GIRLPOWER!!! 🙂

    • cwurschmidt says:

      I really love Avatar and boy, are you right. Let nepotism reign. Bechan, hope you're good with science and math.

    • Leo says:

      Technically, Mom, if I train Asher or Bechan it is still nepotism. Just an observation.

      Aunt Doris, Bechan and I had a long talk about it and we really want her to choose her own path and not let me make them for her. Through that discussion, she decided that she does not, in fact, want to become an astronomer or astronaut… that is too limiting for her potential.

      Asher is completely fine with me guiding his path and that is why I chose him to be the astronomer.

      • cwurschmidt says:

        Sounds like we just regressed a few decades. I think we'll give Bechan a little time so she can speak for herself. Your interpretation sounds just a tad biased, Dad

        • Leo says:

          If giving my children the right to choose their own paths makes me a sexist, then put me at the head of the line… that's right, smack dab in the front my friend! 🙂

          Actually, it really had more to do with the fact that Asher is really loud and was right next to me when I wrote the comment. Bechan lost the coin flip based on the fact that she was napping. I will be happy to have her captain the shuttle mission that gets us the materials. Either way, I am all for suppressing other people so we can get what we want.

          • cwurschmidt says:

            Uncle, uncle, uncle. We were only joking and don't seriously think you are sexist. You weren't brought up to be one. Truthfully, that's what Bechan gets for napping. I not only love you but respect both you and your opinions.

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