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The International Writers Magazine
:21St Century Futures
'If were so close to perfection then why are we so unhappy?'

The 21st century? Notes of the paranoid
James Ryder
What’s so wrong with wanting to live in the present, enjoying the world as it is now?

These days were all planning for the future. Investing money, studying hard preparing for the better days that are to come. Our culture has become obsessed with moving forward. We look towards the future as some great end to all our problems. A time of world peace and eternal happiness. We strive to end all the worlds’ problems to prove our worth on this planet. A feeble attempt to improve the mess we have made over the last centuries. A last chance to make it all right.

But are we delusional? Millions go to university scared that if they don’t they will not be employable in later life. Technology moves so fast that as soon as you buy computer it becomes outdated.
Me, I’m befriending the computers, I treat mine with great respect for I know when they take over I will be treated well.

We’re promised great developments in all aspects of our lives; technology is moving faster than we can keep up and progress in medicine means pretty soon we’ll all be immortal. But who wants to live forever? Have we really thought this through? When did we stop wanting to think about today? What’s so wrong with wanting to live in the present, enjoying the world as it is now? Enjoying it before we damage it any further. Sometimes it worries me that we’re all just running blindly towards the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s this striving for perfection that will be our undoing.

Our short attention spans and lack of imagination. Everyone has their addictions. A way to get through the day. For many its progress and technology, others material possessions while others favour chemicals. So close yet so far. If were so close to perfection then why are we so unhappy. Is it because this generation in the west have felt no real pain that we become obsessed with the small issues? We have had no great world war. No great suffering. Life is pain and most of ours in self-inflicted.

We have advanced so too fast and we struggling to stay on the ride. This is the human race at the height of its power, riding the crest of some great wave of technology. But when will this wave break. Surely it’s only a matter of time before somebody’s finger slips on the big red button. And then that’s it. The wave breaks and I for one sure don’t want to get sucked into the undertow of this one. It wont be an asteroid of some freak weather system that brings the next ice age and ends the human race. We will destroy ourselves. Drunk on power. Our generation are the final great children of evolution. The closest to perfection yet the furthest from control. Hey at least we will make beautiful angels.
© James Ryder Dec 2004

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