In the last two centuries humanity has soared past every limit: Population rocketed from less than 1 billion to over 7 billion people today. The world’s wealth exploded into large and growing middle classes in many countries. These were caused by an industrial revolution that continues to include more countries, cities and people everywhere — ballooning as everyone learns how to get theirs.. |
Our huge successes hide an astounding secret. We’re is the source of our biggest problems. It’s as if we’re chasing self-destruction as fiercely as the prosperity we all want.
We’re even multiplying the list of self-destructive crises we are causing:
• Sustaining the world’s a population (which will reach 9 billion) at ever higher living standards. • Worldwide consumption that threatens the Earth’s bio capacity. • Fresh water supplies for our gargantuan food, industry and living needs. • Climate change that causes extreme weather like droughts, floods and ferocious storms. • Rising sea levels from greenhouse gases. • Soil depletion from industrial agriculture. • Mushrooming total national debts. • New technologies that cost middle class jobs, and shrink middle class incomes in advanced economies. • Unemployment and underemployment, especially among youth. • Income inequality. • A spreading mass extinction from our crowding out other species.
These problems come from who we are: Nearly everyone wants it all, wants it now, and refuses to slow down.
We’re achieving more all the time — the world economy is forecast to double within decades, then grow many times more in the next century. But the higher we climb the bigger our fall will be. Shouldn’t we name our predicament the “Crisis of Success?”
We won’t redirect ourselves in time, because this is the world we want. More people want more of everything, not less. The more we all succeed, the bigger we make our coming problems.
We’re racing toward self-destruction, with new and growing crises emerging as fast as we create them. The biggest “Crisis of Success” is us. And we’re proud of ourselves.
That puts us on the hero’s journey. We’re forced to see ourselves even when we look for the causes. The ways we live and think got us here. We’re the generation that’s trapped by humanity’s huge levels of success.
We have no choice but to exceed our limits and find new ways to succeed. We’re the people who must find our way far higher, and reach humanity’s full potentials. To emerge triumphant we must join history’s greatest heroes. We’re driven into our nexus by our self-inflicted doomsday. And we have to do it quickly.
Our reward for history’s greatest successes will be endless problems and the possible destruction of civilization, unless we top all of history and soar to higher levels than we can imagine.
This article is excerpted from the new book Imagine A New Future: Creating Greatness for All. See http://imagineanewfuture.com
Dan Abelow is an American inventor, author, speaker and technology consultant. His latest patent-pending invention, the Expandiverse, is new technology to build an advanced Digital Earth. His previous patents have been licensed by over 500 corporations that include Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung Electronics. He holds degrees from Harvard and the Wharton School. Connect at http://imagineanewfuture.com/#contact
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