The Future

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“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

It seems to me that we are living in a unique time in history. I imagine that years from now historians will look back and see this period as a pivotal moment when attitudes and beliefs about politics, society and healthcare all pivoted in a new direction.

Living during such pivotal moments in history can be exciting but the uncertainty that is created when things start to change can also create a great deal of anxiety. When normal routines get disrupted and we are not yet sure what the new norms will be it is not uncommon for people to feel anxious.

“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”   ~ Robert F. Kennedy

Psychologists and social workers teach us that when anxiety and uncertainty run high people react in a variety of ways. If an individual focuses on the things that s/he cannot control that person can become fearful and afraid to make any decisions. This type of reaction tends to lead to a sense of helplessness and often clouds our ability to see the areas and opportunities where we have choices and the ability to make things better.
Others react to uncertainty by becoming active – seizing the things they have control over and making the most of the influence they have in areas within their control. These individuals tend to experience less anxiety and fear and are more optimistic about the future.

There are many things that we can’t control or predict right now – there is uncertainty about where healthcare reform is going, the political environment seems to be more unpredictable than usual, racial tensions seem to be on the rise, gun violence seems to be reaching epidemic proportions and even the weather seems to be spiraling out of control with hurricanes, floods and wild-fires. But there are many things right in front of us that we can control.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom & your stumbling blocks into stepping stones.”  ~Robin Sharma

Treating each other with respect is always the right thing to do. Finding opportunities to build bridges of understanding between and among communities is always the right thing to do. Helping rebuild communities devastated by floods, hurricanes, fires or violence is always the right thing to do.

So I would encourage you to follow the advice of President Theodore Roosevelt:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Because the best way for us to have the future we want is for us to take the lead in creating it.


 

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