It’s a grandiose title, I know, and not a little ridiculous. We have no idea what the future of humanity is. It could be long and satisfying. It could be short and brutish. We just don’t know.
Some of us place great faith in technology to see us through. Others, me included, rely much more on the potential of human beings to act wisely and well. I make no apology for mentioning Martin Luther King once again. It was he who noticed that “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles, but we have misguided men.”
If you know me, you will know that I believe that the human future begins at home. It begins with each one of us, as individuals. The more wisely we live and shape our own lives, the more likely it is that the human future will be long and satisfying.
As I contemplate my own future – it has been an eventful year! – I prefer to imagine vaguely. I imagine that my left leg will return to normality and that it will help to carry me to beautiful, interesting places. I imagine that I will continue to enjoy moments with loved ones and friends. I imagine that the wonderful cheeses and wines available locally will continue to give me simple pleasure. I imagine that I will complete my next book. It may be about “intelligent simplicity” …or it may not! And I imagine that all the “big crises” – Trump, Brexit, radical Islam, climate change, polarisation of societies – will all pass in their own time, in their own ways.
Perhaps most important, I imagine that the sun will continue to rise and set, the flowers and leaves will continue to come and go, and that the changing skies will continue to fascinate me.
Now that I think about it, this sounds like a pretty good human future.