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The Future Part II: The Particular Future



The future is intrinsically a solipsistic, self-centered concept. In other words, if there's no one there, it doesn't exist. The future is built of people. For a future of fulfilled dreams, there has to be dreamers. People of the future must be forged. People of the future are not just good--that is obvious. It has to be more than just good. Good is sufficient for today. What is needed, in many facets, is vision.
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 28:19)
The word revelation in that context can also be translated vision. Vision is a synonym for sight. When the people have no vision physically, that is "the blind leading the blind." (Luke 6:39) But when there is no vision metaphysically, (i.e., in a sense that we can't touch), consequences follow. What if the world refused to look beyond the immediate future? Or if we only looked to our paychecks at the end of the week? A world where no one had any concept of things outside of themselves. Imagine a world where no one asked any questions about purpose, synonymous with vision--questions starting with "why...." Classification of objects and ideas is essential. These questions often take the form of "what," "how," and "why." What does a thing do? How does it do what it does? But the most important of the three, and the one people ask the least--why does it do what it does?
     Imagine a car. A nice one, a Tesla. It's a car, and you use it as transport. It has a tablet that controls most of the functions. That's very easy. But how does it do those things? It transports you via the batteries made in Australia, and the liquids in the tablet respond to the electrical signals in the skin on your fingers. But why? This is where it becomes harder. Tesla's official website says "Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better." There is a purpose, a why they do things. A universal betterment for mankind.
     But a universal better future for all of humanity starts with one person. One person who can say why they want to change the future. Anyone can say "I want to buy a Tesla tomorrow." Almost the same number of people can say "I will get this Tesla with money." Fewer can give a good reason why they want that Tesla. "I like it." That's a reason, a why question, but a very bad one. People kill other people because they like it. "I want to make the world better place." Better, but both of these need a second why question. (Why do you like it? Why do you want to make the world better place?) We have to ask these questions. Why do we do this? Why does this act the way it does?
     But even though these questions begin the process, every question must have an answer, even if that answer is "I don't know." And even a lack of knowledge communicates some sort of implication, how we should deal with the question and the idea or object in question. The questions are the first part. The thinking. People of the future, above all, must think. If we do not live an examined life, not only will we get anywhere in outside our lives, we will not get anywhere with ourselves. And the answers are the action portion. James says:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
     Let us hear, and then let us do. Be something greater. Make a legacy. Even further, we should manufacture what we "hear," so to speak. We should seek out things to hear. We should make our own calls to action. No one can change another person. That is an act of aggression. What can be done is changing yourself. That is an act of love. If you see a problem, you do something about it. Do you claim to be someone who wants to fix the world? Start with yourself.
"If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
Huuuuuuu" -Michael Jackson Daniel Stepke
     A terrible song, but a true lyric, nonetheless. The sentiment of changing yourself is nothing new, either. Confucius espoused the view that if everyone was concerned with his own morality, then society would be a good place. Everyone restraining their own behavior, every single person would be "good," society would be reformed, etc. And this holds true...mostly. People, sadly, don't seem to want to care. It was mentioned above that if everyone only cared about their paychecks, pleasure, and only looked to themselves, the world would be a mess. Thankfully, not all are like that. The majority, however, are. They, willfully, or maybe not willfully, ignore and refuse to delve to the root of problems--why those problems happen.
     However, if that was an absolute rule, then ignorance would be the root of sin, like Socrates, and later, Marcus Aurelius would posit. Again, sin is not ignorance, but it is tied up in it. Sin is rooted in not knowing God, ignorance. The ultimate solution to sin is Christ, and His saving work. That does not mean ignorance is not a part of sin. Above all things, if the people of the future are anything, they must not be ignorant. They must know. They have to. If they do not hold their knowledge as part of them, they will fail to see the future they want. They must believe.
     Have you ever believed in something? I always had trouble. When I first heard of Santa Claus, all I thought was "gee--that guy's business model's got to be unsustainable." Sidestepping the precise definition of belief: tedious evidence, empiricism, pedantry, so on and so boring. There's only been two things I've ever believed in--God, because of what He has done, and the proof of Him. And secondly, the future. That there'd be one. And that we'd make it. And that it would be good. And we would make it good.
      Believe. It sounds goofy, but it's true.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29)
If we believe in what we do, and that it's for a greater end, ( if not the greatest end) a better world, great things will follow. But what does that better world look like? It's not just for technology, but also for philosophy and politics, and economics, and all areas of life. We tend to assume that only the things that are easily viewed as world-changing are valuable, but that's not the case. Every individual matters. And when we perform the function of  changing the world, thinking, answering questions, and knowing, then we can worry about the world around us.
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