September 1, 2002
In this issue:
Newsbrief: Commonwealth Club Hosts John on 9-11
September Editorial: Are We There Yet? Enduring Humanity’s Adolescence While Waiting to Grow Up (Part One)
Newsbriefs: The End of Globalization
John in the Media
Next Month’s Editorial: Part Two: Are We There Yet? Enduring Humanity’s Adolescence While Waiting to Grow Up
Commonwealth Club Hosts John on 9-11
John’s talk at The Commonwealth Club, – the oldest and largest public affairs forum in the nation. He’ll be speaking on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. terrorists attacks on September 11; open to the public; for phone reservations call (415) 597-6705 or (800) 847-7730.
Anyone who is a parent has certainly heard the impatient queries of the small child, usually from the back seat of the car, asking Mommy or Daddy, “Are we there yet?” Even if you are not a parent, you might recall saying something similar when you were a small child, eager to get out of whatever situation you felt confined by at the time, impatient to get to the next adventure.
How about asking this same question about the state of humanity? How are we doing in fulfilling our Creator’s vision for us? How are we doing in our evolution toward a wise society? Are we becoming responsible citizens in the Age of Consciousness? How far along are we in becoming a mature species that has transcended all our adolescent behavior and attitudes?
Based up the way we are being in the world right now, it would appear that our species is still in its adolescent years, hardly grown up into adulthood. Although some of the world’s cultures might be more functional than others, we are all pretty much acting like teenagers. We think short term like teenagers do, we think very ego-centrically like they do, we hang out in cliques or gangs like they do, we even engage in conflict the way they do. Like the teenager who refuses to keep his or her room clean and tidy, our “room” (Mother Earth) certainly seems like it can stand some cleaning up. We are still one of the newest species to arrive here on Earth yet we think the rest of the world revolves around us (just like those pesky teenagers!).
Are we there yet? I don’t think so. From my take, we still have a ways to go before we are “there.” Despite our growing impatience with the condition we find ourselves in – the confines of the present reality in which we live and work – the condition will persist until we change it.
Would anyone argue that the present state of human consciousness is our highest calling? Is this all there is to the “human experiment”? Or, is there some greater destiny for us humans – a higher calling for us to grow into?
Are we there yet? Not unless you believe that maximizing our debt, working ourselves so hard that we are killing ourselves, and spending most of our time either buying stuff or working to pay for stuff we already bought is the ultimate human experience that our Creator envisioned. Not unless you think that the Divine Plan includes fighting with one another almost constantly, even threatening one another with total annihilation, mostly in the name of God, Allah, Jesus or Mohammed.
So, if we haven’t fully-evolved, how do we want to turn out? In stark contrast to animals who have largely evolved through a “survival of the fittest” scenario over many centuries, we humans have conscious choice. We have evolved to a time when we can choose our future. Once we make those choices that will allow us to have the future we want, we can take a stand for those choices and make commitments to our stands.
Why sit around watching TV each day, pretending that we have no choice in how our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren turn out? The only reason I can think of is that we don’t think we have any choices.
Even if we don’t think our choices will do much to change the way the future turns out, why not at least pretend we do? Why not spend some time looking at what kind of future we’d like to have rather than spending time in mind-numbing activities? Why not act as if the future has some relationship with our consciousness – that our thinking has some role in the reality we experience? Hey, what can it hurt? So you miss a few hours of “Guiding Light” of “The Simpson’s” or the ballgame scores from last night.
Numbing ourselves with TV, drugs, work or other diversions are ways of avoiding these feelings – refusing to feel the hopelessness and powerlessness. Rather than feel the hopelessness of oppression, Palestinians blow themselves up in suicide bombings. Rather than feel the powerlessness of having the technological advantage yet still unable to defend themselves from terrorists, Israelis mount an armored attack against hopelessly out-gunned Palestinians. Both sides are avoiding the feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness by doing something – anything – even if they know it hasn’t helped improve the situation and the odds are it will only make matters worse. But, at least it is doing something and that seems better than feeling the powerlessness and the hopelessness.
This adolescent behavior strongly suggests that we humans aren’t “there” yet, nor are we anywhere close to being there yet. But there is hope.
In sharp contrast to the impatient child in the back seat of the car, we have more control over getting to the destination – the “there” the child keeps asking about. While the child must endure his or her restlessness and wait it out until the family arrives at the grandparent’s house or wherever they are headed, we can accelerate getting “there” by growing up and shifting our consciousness so as we accept our humanity completely, with all of our emotions – the ones we like and the ones we don’t – and stop avoiding the human experience. By allowing ourselves to fully feel the hopelessness, we are engaging our complete humanness. By recognizing that we are all human beings – connected under some Higher Power – we just might move closer to “there” and begin maturing more rapidly into a global society of wiser, more adult people who honor diversity, respect differences, recognize the connection of all living things, value the Earth and affirm life at all levels.
Then, we will be “there” – at least until the next level of evolution shows up and we begin another journey to the next “there.”
Next month: Part Two: Are We There Yet?
The End of Globalization
John Gray, Professor of European Thought at London School of Economics, writes in an article in Resurgence magazine that “Countries should be free to find their own versions of modernity, or not to modernize at all. So long as they pose no threat to others, even intolerable regimes should be tolerated. A looser, more fragmented, partly deglobalized world would be a less tidy and more genuinely diverse world. It would also be a safer world.”
John in the Media
Listen to a radio interview of John by New York City broadcaster Paul Sladkus about John’s book – Getting to the Better Future.
The August 2002 issue of Science of Mind magazine features an article titled “A New Perspective on Leadership” for which John was interviewed.
About John Renesch
Better Future NEWS is prepared monthly by John Renesch, a San Francisco writer, business futurist, and consultant/executive coach. His latest book is Getting to the Better Future: A Matter of Conscious Choosing. For a list of all the SERVICES John offers, go to Services.