The thing that seems to be in most need today is a hopeful view of the future. If you browse any book store and see the type of fiction that fills the teen shelves, you will notice that many of the bestselling stories are very dystopian. If the children are our future, then what we are filling them with is scary. The phrase “Happily, ever after” is another indicator when compared to the beliefs of many this phrase has been relegated to fairy-tale and myth status.
More important is the outlook that some of the owners of today’s future tech companies hold. As Artificial Intelligence technology begins its ascent many of these owners feel free to communicate their fears of a coming dystopian future that they are steering us toward. In the cases of the teen books and the outlook of some tech firm owners, maybe the reason we hear such fearful predictions in the media is because that is what sells as news today.
So how do we change our personal outlook from this looming fear to a future that resembles heaven on earth? One simple solution would have us use the tools of love and gratitude. Love can be defined as the removal of separation between people. Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness. Fear is the opposite of love, and we can first be thankful that our fear has not totally overwhelmed the reality of this present moment.
Too start, all we need to do is take a simple inventory of the blessings in our life at this current moment. For example if you are reading this posting you are alive. The next thing to notice is that you will probably take several pairs of in and out breaths within the next few minutes. From there quickly exclude of your relationship status, political affiliation, and personal financial status and inventory anything else you like and it will be a blessing.
Hebrews 6:16-20 (NLT) Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Oh, bird of my soul, fly away now; For I possess a hundred fortified towers. ~ Rumi
Most of us at times allow thoughts of fear for the future to fly into our minds and obscure our view of the reality at this present moment. In this moment there is abundant life, for the 7.5 billion humans on this planet. Though our definition of utopia may differ vastly, we are all at this moment alive. The portion of the human race that experiences immediate death or extermination is vastly diminished when compared to just 20 years ago.
Historical Crude Death Rate (DR)
Source: World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision | United Nations Population Division
Secondary to death, fear that our liberty may be restricted, or that we will not have the resources to exercise freedom of choice, presents another looming set of fears. In this present moment humans on this planet are experiencing technological and social advancements and yet many fear that they will not be able to participate in future developments. This fear overshadows our current reality and produces an outlook so dark that death becomes a viable option. Life is changing for the better every day and yet many hold beliefs that society has lost its way and civilization is out of control and everyone is doomed. One such advancement is the awakening of the human global consciousness, aided by communication technology it provides greater awareness about the lives of many people with details on a personal level, and for many this is ‘too much information’ (TMI). The acquisition of any new technology always presents new challenges, but instead of embracing these advantages many tend to dwell on the glass half empty.
Today most humans perform jobs that make life better for all of humanity. Like bees in a hive we actively participate in laying the groundwork for a future society that will be capable of sustaining a greater human population and yet far too many see only, and fear what can go wrong. At this very moment we each love someone or something. We also posses the ability to pray and meditate for their health and well being. Hope has never been at a higher level in human history and more people possess the spiritual tools to make their lives better. At the same time we are fickle individuals who like slowing down and looking at a car wreck and consuming the fear of being hurt and ignoring the fact that just seconds before and after viewing the accident, we were probably exceeding the speed limit as we zipped through life.
My encouragement today, is for us to take time to inventory and then dwell on the good that is our life. Stay present when we are with those we love. Be thankful for every breath and put the fear of not having a next breath in proper perspective. Life may be difficult but compared to the human population 1000 years ago, we are living the utopian dream. Hope is always relative to the time measured for its manifestation. During this infinite moment of now, love is in your heart and breath is in your nostrils and human society is more supportive of our next breath than ever before. At this moment in human history hope and fear are like two wild beast living in the hearts and minds of every human. There is a Cherokee proverb that simply asks which animal will you feed? Feed love and feed hope that today life will be well with you.
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV