While it is very desirable to be able to come to a point of certainty, it is not always possible. The rules we set, the goals we pursue, the desires we cherish could be examples of stable reasons for actions. However, these too can change with time. What appeared to be certain yesterday can appear to be on the verge of dubious, or at least open to questions. In this situation, it is the willingness to be curious and being adventurous that can continue to help everyone. There might not be an absolutely definite prospect of finding exactly what we seek, but we can find room for optimism. This optimism has moved individuals and societies forward through times of great difficulties and change. It can do the same today.
Our goals and the object of ambition must change
New generations are getting ready to take the lead in the affairs of this world. With the passage of time, we have come to accept some practices, goals, and objects of ambition. We even praise these. Money, wealth, prestige, social standing, fame, power – these have been pursued in general or in some very specific ways. These have the reason for practices over many generations. We might expect these to remain the same, or we could hope for change.
The systems that are in place are due to the ideas they embody. We have become better informed about the nature of wages, for instance. We understand today that wages paid to workers are based on the same idea of owning a slave as it traditionally was. The employer has the power to determine the wage, and the worker must perform to earn it. While the rights of workers have undergone change, it is not the same for everyone. Injustice opens the room for oppression, and even though someone rises from a state of economic weakness, he then often repeats the same practices toward those who are now in his position.
We can change the nature of our system by changing the nature of wages. We can work for a system that provides economic security to all, especially those who need it most. We can have those in government who give priority to those who need assistance the most – the weak, the children, the sick, and the women. The stronger ones of society can become the foundation of it. Of course, all of this can work only if a society first identifies its needs and tries to make certain that the “needs of the needy” are always met.
A new kind of adventurer
The nature of adventure has undergone a lot of change. From the time of Columbus and others who navigated with incomplete maps and looked to the stars, today there are advanced satellite navigation systems for the ships. There was a time when only Noah and his family were alone on the waters, and today there is hardly a count of the number of ships out on the open seas. Information affects the spirit of adventure in that it regulates boundless courage. It smothers unrestrained enthusiasm but gives many opportunities for curiosity.
There is today, too much information. In all of that information, there is enough criticism to stifle the adventurous spirit of any person. There is the valid, specific and legitimate criticism of many aspects of the established order. Can we then just give up? Yes, it is possible to think that we have come this far and what we did was all wasted effort. This black-and-white thinking is not justified though. We have failed very badly in many ways, especially when seen through the eyes of the individual who has suffered but, we have also succeeded incomparably when seen through the eyes of a distant observer of mankind. Both observations are true and we can hope to correct the existing imbalance.
The uncertainty of the future invites as it also intimidates
There is no doubt about the existing uncertainty. We do not have some glorious, wise leaders who have all the answers. In fact, in many ways, those leaders are very ordinary people when seen as separated from their projected image. What then? Should we concentrate on the fact that we do not have superhuman leaders or powers? Doing so elicits a wistfulness, but it will not bring us solutions.
The solution really is in pulling together. While beliefs, goals, and objectives do separate us very obviously we can find the way forward by recognizing our needs. Our needs have not changed. Our physical needs have remained basic and continue to be the same. Now, it is very good if some self-sacrificing, adventurous, capable persons can assume the role of leaders for the benefit of all. But there is precious little they can do without the support of others. Mankind has always succeeded in unity, and it has always failed when engaged in conflicts or war.
There is still the time and opportunity for unity, for peace, for hope. If God – our Divine Creator – does not directly answer us through miraculous intervention, there are still the abilities He has endowed each one with. Yes, there is still the possibility that curiosity and adventure could take us where we must be!