I’m a Managing Editor for a regional magazine, and I’m not sure how long I’m going to be doing this or what comes next for me. I’ve been being deluged by the bigger questions in life which seem to be penetrating my skull and crushing my will to ignore my assessments of where the world is going and where it will be in 20 years.
These assessments are guesses at best, but the majority of information I see points to a few key things:
1) We are the children of the great market empire which consumes all and asks nothing less than complete submission to the way of growth and competition.
2) This empire, like all empires, will not last forever. Make no mistake, I live comfortably, I love life, and I enjoy the luxuries that our current mode of society has provided for me, but one thing is clear: this rate of consumption cannot be continued indefinitely, and it is up to the people-at-large to determine, aforehand if possible, what will happen when we reach our peak, and what best to keep civilization in progress when the decline goes from a slight downward plateau to a steep drop.
3) Technology is not a cure all. It can help us to reach the next plateau of being only after we find a more sustainable source of energy, and more importantly, after we are able to dissolve archaic yet impermeable barriers such as religion and fervent nationalism. We must accept that–as a society reaching the global point of transportation, commerce, and culture–we are bound to each other; the livlihood of the individual depends on the work of millions and the infinite transactions that take place to provide us with the services and products we use daily, whether benefitting from them directly or indirectly. There is more to be said about this third point, for sure–but until particular sub-cultures reach a point of understanding with supposedly opposing sub-cultures, new technology leads us to nothing but new methods of separating ourselves from what we consider “the other.”
I don’t mean to place such a heavy post directly after my oil decline post, but it’s starting to become clear to me that if I want to forge a bigger purpose for myself in life, these are some of the things that I should be thinking about–not to worry myself to the point that it takes most of my energy, but to the point that I’m clear what the challenges for our generation will be as we enter the ages where our influence will permeate the direction we take as the major biological force on the planet.
Yikes. Talk about responsibility.