What shall we become?

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, joy, trust, intimacy, courage – everything that brings meaning to our life.*
(Brené Brown)

We know that we are evolving as a species, that evolution is not only something that happens to us but is selected by us. We are increasingly understanding that we don’t only get to measure our species by what we’re producing on the outside but also the kind of creatures we are becoming on the inside.

There’s remains, though, a big temptation to put ourselves down or to “big” ourselves up. To be your true self, however, is where we can be most hopeful for the future, hopeful as in, we get to choose. Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester hold that hope is a mark of the people of tomorrow:

they hold open the possibility of hope. Not optimism – which like pessimism rests on an assumption that we have no control over the future – but hope. The future is radically open, and it is shaped by who we choose to be in the present. Persons of tomorrow are remarkably patient and resilient: they are not waiting to achieve a vision, they are living it already.**

Such people understand that they don’t have to find an angle to win and speak things down or speak things up to achieve a win. They live out their care, love, humility, failure and vulnerability as means of navigating an increasingly complex 21st century. It’s why those who seek power as it has been traditionally expressed, will not be able to lead us towards a better future.

Of humility, Iris Murdoch writes:

Humility is not a peculiar habit of self-effacement, rather like having an inaudible voice, it is selfless respect for reality and is one of the most difficult and central of all virtues.^

Instead of sustaining individuality, tomorrow’s people understand the future is connected, relational, empathetic, collaborative – for which humility is very necessary:

persons of tomorrow, though fully alive as individuals, are also at home in their relationships. Capacities such as loyalty, partnership, friendship, altruism, empathy, solidarity, support, nurturance and followership, are necessary ingredients for thriving in the 21st century.**

The people of tomorrow are inside and outside people, with full integration.

(*From Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness.)
(**From Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester’s Dancing at the Edge.)
(^From Iris Murdoch’s The Sovereignty of Good.)

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