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Jim Selman

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Why This Is the Best Time to Be Alive

Posted: 04/26/10 05:45 PM ET

Being alive at any time is preferable to the alternative. However, as the years go by, I am increasingly appreciative of the extraordinary time in which we are living. I don't mean this as some sort of a "Pollyanna" platitude, but as a serious reflection on our world and who we are becoming at this particular time in human history. I believe that what is happening today is analogous to what people who were conscious and aware of what was happening experienced in the Renaissance. This is not a commentary on the wonders of technology--although they are amazing. Nor is this an optimistic prediction and inventory of the serious environmental and social problems we are facing--although they too are unprecedented. No, I think what is extraordinary is what is happening to us as human beings.

It seems to me that, in the face of all the seemingly intractable problems that confront us and with the power of existing and emerging technologies, we are at a philosophical turning point in human history. Specifically, we can no longer deny that we are connected to each other and the world. At the same time, we must reconcile the paradox between who we are as individuals and who we are as a larger community. We are the one species capable of observing our own process and capable of vision and commitment to alternative interpretations of who we are, what is possible and how to achieve our ambitions. The choice we are making today and every day is whether we are at the cusp of a global transformation of consciousness or at the end of an interesting but ultimately unsuccessful experiment.

Here are the 'top six' reasons why this is the best time in human history to be alive:

  1. The speed with which change is happening makes it conceivable that we will actually see the next 'transformational' outcome of the 'human' experiment in our lifetime. This is a 'make it or break it' era for us.
  2. If humankind actually is getting its act together and acknowledges that we 'are all in this together,' we will have taken the first and most necessary step toward creating a peaceful world.
  3. Technology is giving us the possibility of each and every human being having virtually unlimited and instantaneous access to knowledge and information from all the previous generations in history.
  4. In a world where we are reconciling the paradox between individuals and the collective 'whole,' women and others who have been subjects of discrimination are being empowered.
  5. Traditional 'scourges' of pestilence, hunger and disease are increasingly giving way to healthier and more responsible lifestyles.
  6. As consensus builds for creating more sustainable practices, more conscious choices are being practiced by individuals on a daily basis.

There is a Chinese blessing that says, "May you live in interesting times." At the very least, we live in interesting times. From my perspective, we live in the best of times.

Add your own reasons to my list.

Copyright 2010 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.