The Year to Come

Dear Diary:

I clearly remember thinking about 2020 at various points in my life. “What would life be like?” Not only does 2020 play on perfect vision, but for me it signifies another iconic figure — 65.

I’ll be turning 65 this coming summer , turning to a new phase in life. Typically one is expected to wind it down. Fortunately I had two great role models for active old age. My father began living his life-long dream at 65 by working full time on a show garden for the public. My mother began writing a local history column that turned into a published book.

While 2020 opens the third decade of the 21st century (unbelievably) it is just about the only consistent date that so many companies and governments focused on for many years. So much for long-term planning!

So for me, 2020 really also represents, in a way, the beginning of the end — the end of long-term planning.Chaos theorists would describe our times as a ‘dancing landscape’. The landmarks shift ever-faster and milestones flip past in a blur. The goal-posts are questioned. “What was I looking for?”

What happens next is anyone’s guess. But we can expect scenarios with emergent properties. That is, the whole new system can display properties not found in the component parts or in the past.Given that we live in unprecedented times, we should prepare for mega surprises. That means ever-more agile learning and routine transformative adaptation.

That is, until we settle into a brand new stable pattern.

Things don’t look good for democracy right now. Fear demands the strong man. Chaos demands order. Meaningless demands dogma. Many people have abandoned reason, deliberation and compromise. They’re moving toward mass hysteria.

The solution? It is easier to create disorder than order.

Its going to take considerable effort to get people to set down, rebuild trust and respect, and forge a new civil order. Don’t let panic overcome reason and empathy.

The simple solution, to be expedient, will invariably lead to invoking the baser human instincts. The real solution will be slower and demand a great deal of patience and perseverance. The real solution will be based on core human values and will demand collaboration across the human spectrum.

2020 seems to be a turning point. Your leadership is going to count.

Published by Randal B. Adcock

Independent author on philosophy and the human condition The ideas expressed in this blog are wholly my own and do not represent the opinions of any other organization or entity.

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