“The farthest west is but the farthest east.” Henry Thoreau
At the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century the writing was on the wall for all to see. While the destructive force of war and the emergence of new political alliances, with even greater potential for annihilation, highlighted the need for a new spirit of the age, it was to be an age marked by uncertainty.
Throughout history humanity has faced similar situations. Whole civilisations have come and gone, often leaving barely a trace behind. But what is different about our modern age is the sense of helplessness that we all feel in the face of rapid change on a global scale. Our dilemma is that while we are highly conscious of what is happening, we seem to be powerless to do anything about it. As we get smarter, we are not getting any wiser.
We are incredibly well informed about the problems that we all face, but this does little to assuage the collective and individual anxiety that we all experience. Often we describe our problems in objective terms as something that can be managed: ‘the environment’, ‘pollution’, ‘economic situation’, or even indeed, the ‘pace of change’ itself. What we all too often fail to recognise is the source of the problem – ourselves.