Looking into the future often seems like watching a shifting reflection in a distorting mirror. In the last year, we have moved from the prospect of worsening global financial meltdown to a recovery that is presenting at least the appearance of normality.
Under the surface things are not so reassuring. It feels uncomfortably as if this part of the world has shot itself resoundingly in both feet, and its power is ebbing away. This applies to both the US and the UK, but the UK in particular seems to have nowhere to go in conventional economic terms. For the moment it is living on borrowed time, waiting for the full consequences to play out.
Nevertheless, as one thing ends another inevitably begins. Focusing on the aspect in decline can make it seem like the end of the world. Turning to the aspects of newness and promise reveals a new world in the making, one utterly unlike the world of the last hundred years. As the adage has it, things are getting worse and worse and better and better at the same time.
Conventionally, commentary such as this tracks the gyrations of business as usual, but what to do when the party is over and a hangover is imminent? The coming decade will not be a time to hold on to old ways of thinking and acting. This is a time to be tracing the outlines of the new – and I hope this blog can make a contribution. There is enormous promise hidden in the confusion of what humanity has achieved so far, and I am convinced a way of living is in prospect that can resolve the confusion and deliver on the promise. My personal New Year/New Decade resolution is to help in piecing together a new and optimistic vision for what is possible.
As we enter this new decade, we are at a tipping point between civilizations, a prospect that is both exhilarating and terrifying. Let us hold fast to optimism and see this as a time of birth and celebration. Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!