If you live in many parts of the world today, this conversation may be hard to wrap your arms around. However, allow me to make a case of why we should be optimistic about the future of the planet.
Experience over possessions. You've probably read by now that Millennials (18 - 35 year olds) have figured something out --- people with a lot of stuff and tons of debt, don't seem to be happier than people without a lot of stuff and very little debt. They have reasoned that experience is more important than paying for stuff the rest of your life. This is a stunning development considering that Western societies, and those who copy Western style models, constantly pound the message of " ownership" through debt. The iron-clad grip of materialism is giving way to relationships, experiences, the health of the children and other quality of life measurements. "uncivilized" cultures have valued for eons. https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2015/06/01/nownershipnoproblem-nowners-millennials-value-ex...
The opportunities in climate change adaptation. Yes, climate change will challenge the very survival of humanity. At the same time, some of our greatest moments are ahead of us. All around the world, communities are moving ahead with adapting to extreme weather by bonding together, creating jobs and a new sense of cooperation. It seems that climate change may create opportunities of cooperation and collaboration we've only dreamed about. One of the best known examples is the powerful project by several West and Northern African countries to create The Great Green Wall. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/farmers-in-sahel-beat-back-drought-and-climate-change-wit...
Renewable energies can change the power structure in the world. If you control the energy in the world, you control the world. The current world power structure that has led us to the near extinction level event we face through climate change has been fueled through the petroleum industry. Renewable energy structures, especially zero cost energy households through solar power will mean a permanent decentralization of power so that it's not concentrated in the hands of a few. This is in keeping with the human-centric direction the world is leaning toward. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/08/decentralized-renewables-the-rise-of-the-micro-...
We're not having a breakdown. We're having a breakthrough. It can be argued that humanity experimented with a bunch of ideas over the past few centuries that simply didn't work very well. The moment that we are in now is asking us to take the next step in correcting a bad call....create a new way forward. Break through. We've lived long enough to know what ideas are terrible. We have a chance to learn and become greater from our experience. But as any psychologist will tell you, the first step to healing is admitting that you have a problem.
Optimism is an intention, not just a feeling. In order to create an abundant, empowered and sharing future going forward, we must choose optimism. That means, optimism is a choice and an intention. In other words, there is a decision that has to be made about the future that benefits more people and heals the planet. In a very real way, it is a belief....a faith that in every human rests the seeds of a flower. As we water and nurture it, we see it's beauty and power. Waiting to feel good is not a strategy. Deciding to water our flower, pull resources together to design a future is. It's called optimism.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org