By: s.i. wells
Without a doubt the future is coming toward us at full speed. Are we ready? Do we know what to expect? Are we planning to be prepared? Do we have the tools to deal with the unknown?
Who are we kidding. No one knows the future simply because it is not yet the present. Experts abound who divine the signs and opine with such credibility that we suffer immediate panic at the “truth” of the unknowable.
Silly stuff to worry about. Planning ahead gives us the delusion of control. If everything in our lives is always moving and fluctuating, the reality of life is just instability.
So I’ve been thinking about things that I know for sure. I derive comfort from having at least a modicum of “for sure’s” in my back pocket when I walk down the street. Here’s my quick and dirty list premised on the idea that I am still alive:
1) At dinner time, I will be hungry; 2) There is a very good chance I will fall asleep sometime tonight; 3) Eventually I will need to relieve myself in the bathroom; and, 4) My beard will grow, as will my finger nails, toe nails and hair.
So that’s it for me. Now how about the certainties in the rest of the world:
1) Gravity – always there, doesn’t change like the weather; 2) Time – which as they say marches on and cowers to no man’s wishes, and, 3) Death – all living things eventually die.
If you want to worry, then let’s think about an attack by a squadron of model airplanes laden with small quantities of C4 explosive flown remotely into lunchtime crowds in New York City. How do we protect ourselves from terrorists who take their playbooks from stories published by CNN International about drone warfare being conducted in Afghanistan by U.S. military fighter pilots from a bunker in Nevada? Our government uses the Predator and other UAV’s like the Reaper, the Raven and the Shadow. The next generation of terrorist might use out-of-the box radio controlled model airplanes guided from a mile away. Are we not on the brink of a new wave of terror invented by us and of which we are the likely victims?
Or how about a true pandemic of a mutated version of the H1N1 Swine Flu that worked itself around the formula used for the 160 million doses of Swine Flu vaccine being prepared today? Would our economy survive when everyone was afraid to travel, to go to an office or the mall or send children to school? Could we function if 40% of our population gets sick at one time? Wouldn’t the stock markets around the world crash?
Can we remain sane in a world that vibrates constantly with disruptions beyond our control? Is the comfort we receive from believing that we are in control of our lives or at least some things in them merely a fiction that allows us to go about our daily business? Or, is it time to accept the idea that it is not what we can control, but how we function in an existence of constant change? It is all too easy to be panicked into believing the sky is falling. Wouldn’t the better way be to be confident in our abilities to deal with the circumstances, marshal our intellects and resources and work up a solution?
So get with the program. Life is not set like gravity or time. In an ever-changing world, it is time to rely on ourselves to figure out the solutions, solve the unsolvable problems and press into the future in the belief that somehow, someway there is a way. Although it is human to plan, we should never lose sight of our own inventiveness to rise to the occasion and find a way to make today turn into tomorrow.