What does the future look like?
Such a question is always being asked and is always being answered. Answers which are always uncertain. Just as we can never be absolutely certain of that which we call the future, we never really even be quite certain of what will happen in the next few minutes.
Some look to divination to foresee what is to come. Some look to premonitions which they take serve as warnings of those which are but misfortune. Others still look at prophecy to guide their behaviour.
For the man of science, the future is being mapped by the great minds which drive the entire human race. We are looking at a future of extremely high-speed data transmission where bits and bytes move at the speed of light and nothing less. We are looking at an immortality from the gift of technology where the minds, thoughts, and beings of individuals are merged with artificial bodies deemed more sturdy than the human flesh.
Depending on the shoes you’re wearing, the future you’re looking at would be rather different from one wearing a different pair.
We could all try to look at the bigger picture and see a stable future worthy of the peace and prosperity of the Garden. But not everyone looks at the bigger picture. Some choose to look at the smaller picture made only of those elements which are immediate to the viewer.
Most of the time, that doesn’t work. However, there are times when looking at the smaller picture gives you insight into all the small things.
I was out at the market tonight and, as one would imagine of a market, it was busy. Busy and full of all sorts of different people. The lot of them you probably wouldn’t recognize but there will always be them of whom you are a bit more than familiar with.
These people are some of them who’ve crossed paths with me throughout this, my walk on Earth. Some I even walked in parallel with for a time. Of course, most of them have, by now, taken a route quite different.
As I sit from a shed across the market waiting for my ride back, I watch all these different faces moving about and think, “Some of these people shouldn’t be here. These shops, they shouldn’t be minding them. They should be somewhere else already.”
I know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a shopkeeper. Even if it’s just a stall in a small agora public market.
But it becomes all wrong when the shopkeeper is one former schoolmate who has graduated and collected a degree. Whatever happened to all those four years of exams and reports… And tuition fees?
When I arrived, I sat for a bit outside just feeling the breeze and the chill night air. I look up and see a beautiful crescent moon illuminating the night sky. Then, I remember the kids I see around in the neighbourhood.
What’s the future for them?
What’s the future for us who live in the outskirts of great city of technology, advancement, and progress? Us who can only play catch-up with the rest of the world but can never really quite get there? Us who cannot fully enjoy the benefits of that which we call the modern world?
Now, I am much blessed to even be writing this. But those kids?
I see a lot of kids and younger teens in our neighbourhood who choose to drop out of school and get a job, instead. But what job can a child get? Nothing but those which require more than hard work and a lot of muscle. Especially for those who cannot even finish elementary school.
They choose to because, for now, it appears to be the easier path. With a job, they can get money. With school, they’d have to spend money.
The bigger picture? It doesn’t include them. It doesn’t include us.
For that so-called “bigger picture” only has the bigger people in its frame leaving out the smaller ones beyond the borders.
It’s rather unacceptable but it’s the truth. People only ever see what they want to see. Some of them you can’t truly blame because they are blissfully ignorant of the outskirts of the great city.
It’s hard for the real picture to be seen.
As for me, I’m making it so that my future is something I can see. Not something quite as dark as of these kids I see around in my neighbourhood. And I am making it certain that when the time comes to embrace the future and accept it as my present, I have a choice.
I want paths open for me and so I am carving them. I do not intend to go down that one single route that the society, and everything else, has laid down for me.
But these other people? These kids and everybody else. What is there for them? What will it take for them to steer their course in a better direction? Can they only be trapped?
What does the future look like?