Attitude of Gratitude Day 12: The Here and Now

English: Clock We live in interesting times.

English: Clock We live in interesting times. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I keep hearing that there is a Chinese proverb that goes something along the lines of “may you live in interesting times.” I’ve heard it described as a blessing. I have heard it explained as a curse. Whichever the case, I can definitely say we leave in interesting times, at least to my way of thinking.

Things were neat in the past, I cannot deny that. I have been known to wax romantic about the Renaissance, about the rise of human civilization, and history in general. I love to learn about what happened before so I can better know what is to come. As for what is to come, it is fun to speculate what that might be. Will nanotechnology solve all our resource problems? Will we learn to live together in peace? I look to the future with a mix of anxiety and hope and always with a sense of wonder.

With all that in mind, though, I think the here and now, the present age is a fascinating one. We have learned so much about the physical reality of the universe, more in a century than we did in the previous six millenia. We have conquered major diseases. We are able to communicate with almost anyone, almost anywhere, almost instantly. We have at present the best ability to learn from the past to shape our future that we have ever had.

We are in the eye of the storm of history so to speak. It seems, looking over the course of human discourse, of recorded history, and of anthropological discovery, that more than ever we are living with one foot planted firmly in the past while the other steps into the future. We hold fast to traditions and culture without completely understanding their current relevance, much less future relevance, while questing toward a brighter world and time beyond.

It is perilous to be certain,  but also endlessly fascinating. I look forward to seeing what we do with the gift that is this globally tumultuous modern era. We could easily tip ourselves over the brink into annihilation, which would be sad beyond the ability of words to describe. We could, just as easily however, push into a wonderful age of progress and unity. We could find ourselves learning from ourselves, from each other, and from what has gone before to achieve wondrous deeds.

I may have found living in a past era fun. All the toys we have yet to create might also have been interesting. With all that said, I am very grateful to live in this time, an interesting time indeed, and consider, hopefully with the rest of you, just what we may do.




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