For centuries, Western society has told the story of capital-P Progress. We've believed with utmost certainty that our new technologies and modern ways of being bring us ever closer to an ideal society. We've been utterly convinced that the world is getting better, so much so that we are often oblivious to the downfalls and perils of modern society.
In contrast, in more recent years, many of us (strangely, many who refer to themselves as progressives) have rejected this story in favor of an unwavering belief that world is getting worse. We believe our modern ways have doomed us to climate apocalypse; rampant injustice; runaway, destructive AI; and pervasive meaninglessness. We've become utterly convinced that the planet, society, and the human spirit are on an inevitable trajectory to collapse.
Either way, so many of us orient to the world from a lens of certainty. And often, this certainty operates as an excuse for inaction. If the future is already set, why bother doing anything ourselves?
Here's my truth: We don't know what tomorrow brings. Profoundly so. We may feel certain, but our world is actually more uncertain than ever.
It's of course quite possible that we are indeed near the end of the human experiment. There are many realities and trends today- especially the climate crisis - that point in that direction. But it seems just as possible that we are at the beginning of a profound change in our consciousness and ways of being. What we see as our end days could very well reveal itself to be humanity coming out of its adolescence into maturity, creating a new era of peace, justice, and harmony with Earth.
Perhaps the only thing we can say with some certainty is that the world is changing, more rapidly and radically than ever before. The potential negative consequences are more immediate and catastrophic than ever. And yet, we've also never been more capable of transforming global systems for the better than we are right now.
Our future is in no way set or inevitable. It all hinges on the choices we make today.