It is innate in every man to dream for a greater future, a better world, a better place to live in. We build systems to improve our lifestyle, stabilize our ways and regulate our activities – all for a greater future. We spend millions and a lot of minutes devising ways to rehabilitate them, to understand how they can best cater to the changing and worsening state of mankind. We stay awake and get up before the sun rises to prepare for meetings, conferences that will teach us new techniques to make life easier, happier, less painful, more meaningful – to build a greater future. We have better technology and can talk with a stranger on the other side of the world just by a click and a tap. We recreate fashion, revive songs, remodel things. We are working hard but we are often tired and restless – because we want a greater future.
Still the world remains an empty, broken place with people with wicked, twisted schemes. The technologies made to connect actually divide. The systems made to stabilize make us unstable. Do our systems, investments, technologies, conferences really take us one step closer to a brighter tomorrow? Could it be that we have spent so much time on things but less with people? That we have focused on objects and not subjects, that we have built systems, but not relationships? Could it be that our means have become our ends and that our ways are defeating our purpose?
If according to the Bible, it’s only God’s word and the souls of men that will endure forever then why do we let lives ebb away? If indeed this is true, then our focus should be on life, on relationships and on people. Our goal should be to keep changing every day as we allow others to do the same – to transform to better versions of ourselves. If we are changed individuals, is a transformed society so far away? If for example one man is transformed, is it far-fetched for him to influence an entire family, tribe or nation to change? I am strongly convinced that the greatest persons that ever lived are not those who had flawless personalities – no, they were imperfect people who embraced transformation and ultimately laid stones of foundation for a better tomorrow, not just for themselves but for others.
According to Alexander Pope, “The way of the Creative works through change and transformation, so that each thing receives its true nature and destiny and comes into permanent accord with the Great Harmony: this is what furthers and what perseveres.” There is indeed a destiny that awaits each person that if fulfilled by each individual would build not necessarily the perfect society but a much better one. Humans are not perfect and never will be, but the aim of each one should be that when they have come out victorious from a life-changing moment, and have acquired and internalized another pebble of truth, that they make this flow to society and leave it to others. This is what it means to have “a great future”.
There are therefore moments we need to reflect on, events and situations we need to analyze, people we need to spend time with and people we need to let go. There are answers we need to hear and questions we need to ask. How do you spend most of your time? What books do you read and movies do you watch? Who do you spend your weekends with? How do you nourish yourselves and protect yourselves from corruption? When did you last learn a lesson and changed your attitude and behavior? Answer these questions and you will see if you are indeed helping to build a greater future.
To do so is to transform lives – to pay attention to metamorphosis in people rather than things, to strive for the development of the human character rather than technology. Whatever niche we play in life, we have the power to change and inspire change. Our ipod and ipad should therefore connect us, not isolate us – connect to inspire, connect to encourage. Our flat screen should ultimately build us and not just entertain us – build a better character, ignite our highest potential. Our DVD should bring our family together, and not set them apart – together in learning, together in transforming. We ought to stop becoming slaves to the fruit of our labor and begin to master them by seeing them only as tools. Life first before things. Heart first before the hand. One person, one day at a time. (by Jill Christianae A. Rendon)