“Que sera sera,
whatever will be will be,
the future’s not ours to see,
que sera sera,
que sera sera”
We cannot know the future..
…or can we?
Maybe it is actually possible to see the future. In fact don’t we do that all the time. In small and insignificant ways mostly to be sure, and without any great precision, but good enough to be useful. True, no-one foresaw the Indian Ocean, Boxing Day Tsunami for instance, so there is still much that is beyond us. And love is another phenomena we will likely never foresee. Who will my true love be? Perhaps that is a good thing.
But in many other ways, the future isn’t hard to see at all. Just extrapolate from the past and the present and you are looking at a pretty good picture of exactly what the future holds. It has more to do with taking the time and effort to conceive and visualise it than whether it is possible or not. Anytime you plan something you are glimpsing into the future. So it is less about whether we can see something of the future and more about whether we want to.
There is a lot in this world that is really about whether or not we want to. “There are none as blind as those that will not see”. Unfortunately, if you have already decided what you want the answer to be then you aren’t going to be terribly open to any evidence to the contrary. On that note, I found a lovely quote recently: “The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact” ~ Thomas H Huxley. It applies not just to science either. Most of us one way or another are walking around with our preconceived notions that we are very attached to. And which we would be obliged to give up if we had to acknowledge the ugly facts.
I was interested to read a little of a young woman’s blog recently where she stated she hated politics and wasn’t the least bit interested. Whenever anything political came on she just zoned out. Hmm… that would make it rather difficult to have any sort of political consciousness then wouldn’t it. Being an actively engaged citizen in your community is pretty much ruled out. You have pre-emptively removed yourself from proceeding, and at that point any decisions that get made are going to get laid down on you whether you like it or not. More to the point, you wont even see it coming. You will be a possum fixed in the headlights in the middle of the road. Squish!
There might well be some utility to being able to see what is going on around you and to see what is coming down the road.
Alternatively, we all can just carry on as usual having faith that the rest of society will protect us from harm. That would be the herd mentality… and on average it does kinda work. It just depends on whether you want to be a sheep I guess. So what are you?
If you were looking around now, and extrapolating into the future from what we already know, what do you reckon we could or would see?
I was talking a while back with a friend about perception and seeing and came up with an analogy that I still really like. It went like this: imagine you are walking out on a huge savannah grassland. You are following a friend, but he is several hours ahead of you so you can’t see or contact him at all. There are a number of various features about so it is possible to navigate on a very basic level. Anyway, you are heading for a rocky outcrop where you were supposed to meet up, but when you arrive he is not there. What to do? If you were a primitive aboriginal tribesman, you would probably have finely honed tracking skills to search around the rocks and vegetation and look for signs and spoor that indicated where your friend came from and in what direction he left. Probably you would have a petty good idea how long ago too and where he would be by now. But if you were fresh out of a city, that approach simply wouldn’t work, you would look but not see. What you might well be able to do instead would be to read the note your friend wrote in a rock wall that said where he had gone off to and why. They are both signs and signals to those who can read them. The moral of the story is that there are many ways of seeing, and the signs actually are there, it is only a question of what we can read from them. It is about our ability to see.
The interesting thing is that we all tend to see things just a little bit differently. Even better, the more people we have looking the more we can make out and comprehend. I have done a fair bit of gazing to the future over the past year or two and come to some conclusions, but what can you see?
Feel free to write any thoughts you have in the comments section below. I would be interested to get some more opinions and observations. It might be worth knowing what the future holds.