Read Paul Born's latest book:
Read Paul Born's latest book:
I am finishing a book on finding connection in chaotic times. When you read the short write up below does it capture in short chaotic times. What would you add, how might you change it - even just a word or short phrase you might add would be vey helpful. Much joy and thanks.
We are living in chaotic times, and I believe that things are going to get worse. This comes from a guy whose wife introduces him as the eternal optimist, always seeing the cup overflowing (though she quickly adds this gets annoying some days).
So, why does this optimist have a growing sense that things are going to get a lot worse? The systems we have come to rely on are broken and no longer serve us well. The environment is a mess, the economy is unstable to the point of being wonky, and people are angry and scared. They’re rising up all over the place, both against injustice and in fearful reaction.
I used to think that these “troubles” have always been with us, and I was certain we would get through them. I still believe we will get through them, though I am convinced this is not trouble as usual. Things are going to get worse before they get better, and no amount of innovation or brilliance will save us from the pain that the getting worse is going to cause.
Some may consider this outlook unwarranted. We live in a time of rapid and massive change, fueled by the hope of technology. We forge ahead, boldly believing that an innovation is near and able to address any challenge we might face. New technologies have made it possible for us to live in mass cities efficiently and enabled us to produce food and supply water to sustain ourselves. We are able to monitor almost every aspect of our humanity from simple computers. In a matter of hours, we can visit each other anywhere on the globe.
Science, we are told, is en route to curing every major disease, solving every possible disaster. When this belief is challenged, the reply is confident: All we need is more time and more money and we can overcome this. We are asked to believe that we are a people of possibility without limits.
We are urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, living closer to each other than we ever have. But mass urbanization and massive population growth have made us more vulnerable, and many are no longer optimistic that these trends can continue. The very earth we have come to rely on is suffering and showing signs of inability to sustain this growth.
We live in chaotic times, defined by disasters looming over us, such as global financial meltdown, massive environmental degradation, wars, revolution, terrorism, shortages of food and water – human and natural disasters all fueled by and fueling global climate change. We seem to jump from one crisis to the next. And the realization that unfettered growth and overpopulation are unsustainable causes us to question the optimism we feel in technology. The human ethos is increasingly becoming one of uncertainty and growing fear.
Community as experienced by generations before us has broken down. Years of embracing individualism and consumerism, and relying on government intervention to respond to unmet needs, have left us with few resources for building community. We live more densely than ever, but many of us do not know our neighbors, and most of our families are spread far and wide. Traditional observances and religious practice are on the decline. Television and other individual pursuits have stripped many of us of the skills to play together and share our stories. The busyness with which most of us fill our daily lives is so pervasive, it carries—no, hurls—us forward.