August 7, 2011

Where are the dreams of our future?

We used to dream of a fantastic future for the human race. From the Jules Verne era forward, it seemed people couldn't stop fantasizing about humanity's enormous potential and what the future had in store for us. It was widely believed that through science, we would develop into a super-civilization that extended its reach throughout the universe. World peace was a given, as was an end to disease and famine. Everyone in the future would be happy and fulfilled. We dreamed of a human race that would exist for hundreds of thousands of years, a race that would come to learn all the secrets of the universe. It was a lovely dream shared by a huge segment of the population in the 1950s and 60s. We looked forward to this future, and worked toward it.

Kids used to fantasize about "outer space" and every kid wanted to be a spaceman. But it wasn't only the kids. Adults looked forward to every new book or movie that promised a glimpse of these possible futures. And though an apocalyptic vision or two was included in the mix, by and large these visions confirmed something for us: the future was endlessly bright.

Where did all that go? Does anyone dream about the future anymore? Or has everyone decided that there is no future? This is why I write my books. We need to re-learn the skill of dreaming about our future. It's such a simple thing, but we've forgotten how to do it. I want us to dream.

1 comment:

Artichoke Annie said...

I think you hit the nail on its head... don't hear the kids saying much today about 'what I want to be'.

I hope they don't think its all been done. Sad.