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An Open Letter: Arte's Thoughts

"I'm just a visitor, but even I can see what's wrong here."
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Dear Humans,

You're all so weird! Sorry, let me start that again. I've been on your planet for 35 years. I've witnessed some things that I wouldn't want anyone else to, yet people do. I've seen the world through the eyes of a baby, growing up to become an infant, child, teenager, and finally adult.

When I was a baby, things were simple: Cry for attention, sleep most of the time, play for a bit. This pattern continued until I developed speech. Once I was able to express myself, I was allowed some more freedom. The older I got, the more I part of society I became, yet something always seemed strange.

On my planet, we don't have this concept of gender. Yes, we do have the same genitals and body configuration as you do, but we don't place any importance on it. We wear what we want, act how we want, some even modify their bodies how they want, and the world at large doesn't really care one way or another. When I first encountered the term “crossdresser”, I was dumbfounded that there would be a word for someone who likes to look good. Imagine my confusion when I came across the term “transgender”. It took me quite some time to figure it out. I was at a distinct disadvantage because I didn't know what gender was.

You have terms like “homosexual” and “lesbian”, which mean the same thing, but are applied to different genders, but even that gets confusing! Some argue that “pansexual” and “bisexual” mean the same thing, some say they're different. I say it doesn't matter, as long as you're all happy. There are “aces” and “polys” and “queers” and... The list goes on, but from this alien's perspective, they are all words for “human”.

I've noticed that you humans like to fight. You try to deny it, but your lives would be meaningless without fighting. Except they wouldn't be. If you all got along together... Shit! I just remembered about religion! Now, that's a divider, if there ever was one.

On my home planet, we do have a sort of religion, but it's not like yours. We are taught to respect our planet, reuse as much as we can, recycle what we can't. We try not to manufacture harmful substances, like that which you call plastic. We do live in houses very much like yours, but we don't build in inappropriate places, like on top of old riverbeds and on beautiful, green land. In your religious terms, we'd be classed as pagans. From reading your history books, I can see that the pagan way of life has times when it is the “in” thing and others when the people who practice it are shunned and killed.

On my home planet, we have tales of the planet, how it came to be, but here, even that's divisive. You have two main ideas: The creationist theory and the big bang theory. In that way, our planets are actually similar. We don't know how our planet came to be, but we do know that there are other planets. We also don't have this idea of “war”. This idea that if someone's ideals don't match yours, they need to be killed. That's a senseless concept to me and to your people, yet you all keep doing it. It's a strange thing. Why can't you just talk? Violence is never the answer, yet... I don't know. I just don't. I'm sorry.

The idea of politics, as well... It has me scratching my head. I get that you need a committee of people to guide you, distribute wealth and resources, but in a lot of countries, it's very much one extreme or the other. There's no real agreeing going on and the politicians seem to be seen as elite, while also being looked down upon. On my planet, we all hear each other and there isn't really a hierarchy. Or an elected government. We just somehow manage to get on with it and if someone has a dispute, we talk until a solution is agreed upon.

My planet isn't perfect, no planet is, and believe me, I've seen a lot! Most of the planets are pretty similar, but Earth sticks out as one of the absolute worst. And the best. There's a planet on which people explode if they walk backwards. You don't have that, thankfully.

I have to say, it's nice that our DNA doesn't match. My DNA is destroyed by yours. I'm slowly dying. It's understandable that a species that values war would have some kind of code written into their DNA to stop aliens from taking over. My death is the price I pay for loving someone, and now I understand how those who are killed because of who they love feel: Alone, scared, confused.

Now that I am in my final days, it is my wish that you all see the world for what it is: A beautiful place that you're all killing with your hate and prejudice. Lay old animosities to the side and just live together in peace. I'm too weak to go back to my own planet now. Soon my body will turn to dust and I'll be no more. When I die, my DNA will die, too. I have no means of reproduction on your planet, I pose no threat to you.

Please heed my words and find a way to coexist in peace, if not for me, then for your future generations.

I've said all I can say. It's up to you now. I wish you luck. I need to prepare. I hope my soul makes it back to my home planet.


love Arte.


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