People have long looked up to the stars to figure out where they are, and where they will be going. So it is only natural that gold become a metaphor for our connection with the universe. Gold can remind us of the origin of our solar system. It is thought to have been made after the explosion of a star. The supernova scattered metallic dust that was later condensed into our solar system and the Earth. But sadly, gold can also remind us of our end. That we are at the early stages of an epic disaster where the sun could blow up or die out.
Aliens can similarly inspire us to tell stories about our future. They remind us that it is instinctual to dream about space. And they can become metaphors for the way that evolution pushes us to explore new places, and build new homes beyond Earth so that we can someday escape from extinction.
This is a popular theme in the new Superman movie Man of Steel, where Kryptonians have run out of resources and will need to flee from their planet to ensure survival. In this sense, the film presents aliens as an evolutionary force. However, this force can sometimes be polarized against humanity. General Zod, for instance, is a very cold and inhuman character, who determined to guarantee the survival of his alien race will sacrifice humanity without compassion.
Whether real or imagined, aliens challenge our beliefs and notions of what it means to be human. And while we are sometimes afraid of things that we don't understand, World UFO Day gives people an ideal to strive for, celebrate that we too are potential aliens. Someday we will venture beyond the limits of our solar system. And like Superman, the most famous alien in our culture, we hope to become symbols of our science and technology, and our compassion and morality.