To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
After a long, dark, painful political season, it’s time for us to pull ourselves out of it and reset our attitudes about the world. And there are few better ways to do that than to spend a few moments feeling grateful.
All is not bitterness and pain upon Earth, and that’s something we need to remind ourselves, especially because we’re surrounded by manufactured, amplified, and repeatedly broadcast fears. (Fear is a profitable business tool these days.)
So, I want to make a list of things to be grateful about, transcending the fears that drag us downward. Here we go:
- Technology keeps us moving forward. While you may already be gently nodding in agreement, what’s wrapped up in this statement is far more powerful than most people think. Consider this carefully: Politics is cyclical, but technology is cumulative. (And you really should see issue #71 of the subscription letter on this point.) Kings, kingdoms, empires, and all the rest come and go. Technology accretes – it builds up. This is a great hope for the future… for our children and grandchildren. In time, technology will overtake the dark specter of politics and human life will flower.
- We are better than we used to be. Yes, I know, it’s all too easy to complain about humanity; I’ve done it plenty myself. But if you look backward a bit, you’ll find that life is considerably less brutal than it used to be, and we no longer accept many things we used to. And it’s not just brutality, we’re getting better in other ways. Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev put it this way:
Man has come to love freedom as he never has before, and he demands freedom with extraordinary persistence… Man has grown more compassionate than before. He cannot endure the cruelty of the old days… Man is more eager than ever before to create….
Believe it or not, we really are evolving for the better… it’s just that good news doesn’t manipulate people, and so big media doesn’t spend time on it.
- We know how to surf our solar system. The technology that took men to the moon is 50 years old now. We can build cheaper, better, and with massively better computing power. Take a look at this photo; it’s from this past April and shows not one but two private spacecraft parked at the international space station:
Our solar system is available to us now. And then, who knows? Our politicians don’t want us to leave their fiefdoms, but once we decide to ignore them and do it anyway, the celestial door stands open to us… and greater adventures than we’ve ever imagined.
We are far healthier than we used to be. I’ll spare you the statistics, which you’ve probably seen at some point, but I’ll add something else: There are huge implications from this. Old people, with all they’ve learned, are sticking around longer to pass some of it along. Perhaps more importantly, after spending half a century to figure things out on this confused planet, people still have time to use what they’ve learned… not only are they still alive, they’re healthy enough for a fairly vigorous life. And of course there are many fewer major traumas, like losing young children – and that matters a great deal.
Scarcity is dying upon planet Earth. In the interest of space I’ll leave off the details, but this is massively true, of tremendous implication, and you should think about it.
So, next time you hear about the world going to hell, remember something:
Politics may be going to hell, but politics isn’t the whole of life. And the inertia of the past 60 years be damned, politics doesn’t deserve our time and energy. Here’s a quote from Bucky Fuller to make this point:
If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.
We have a lot of things to be grateful for. We should pull our minds away from the Daily Horror Reports to think about them.
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A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:
I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I’ve read this book… I want everyone to read it.
Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people’s conceptions.
There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.
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