Comentarios semanales sobre temas de actualidad por el Dr. Francisco Miraval.
Los comentarios se publican todos los lunes, en inglés y en español. Visite los archivos ("Archives") para leer los comentarios anteriores.
Weekly commentaries by Dr. Francisco Miraval on different topics of interest.
Commentaries are posted every Monday, in English and Spanish. Please, read our previous commentaries in the Archive section.
At a recent community presentation about the emerging future, at the end of the meeting I asked the participants what they thought about the future. Immediately, one of the participants said, âNothing!â. Without pausing for even a second, he added, âEight thousand generations of humans canât be wrongâ. Then, he got up and left.
I regret not having the opportunity of talking with that person about why he thought to propose some kind of infallibility of our ancestors for the past 320,000 years. The truth is human generations have been always able to make mistakes and our generation is no exception.
Whatever the case, in what ways does the âinfallibilityâ of past generations help us to prepare ourselves for a future which is no longer continuity from the past? After all, clinching to the past leaves no room for the future.Â
So, regardless of our willingness to accept it or reject it, our ancestors, both from last century and from the remote past, achieved marvelous things and, at the same time, made great mistakes in areas related to the well-being and the future of the humanity. They thought veins were for the circulation of air, not blood, that earth was flat, that invisible organisms (germs) did not exist and did not cause diseases.
At the same, our ancestors, in spite of their mistakes, they were able to understand that, at times, they needed to leave the past and enter a new future. Thatâs why we are no longer roaming the African savannas, or living inside caves, or exploring only the area of the sea next to the shore.
We can say, therefore, that each generation makes many mistakes, including mistakes about key issues, such as believing a certain group of people is superior to other groups, or that certain products of public consumption are safe to use or eat. Sooner or later, we will all make mistakes.
Those generations wise enough to listen to the wise among them will recognize their mistakes and will stop teaching them to future generations. Other generations will never see their mistakes. In fact, they are so sure they are in possession of the truth that they will keep trying to perpetuate the present or recover our past when that âtruthâ was thought to be the solution to all the problems of the world.
And even if could acknowledge our own mistakes and we could incorporate all our ancestral wisdom into our minds and hearts (which, by the way, as Goethe said, will help us to avoid living in ignorance), perhaps that wisdom could be of little help to face challenges we never faced before, including six generations living together, potential global annihilation, and probability of Artificial Intelligence replacing us.
For that reason, saying that what is happening to us is not different from what happened to our ancestors is not only unwise, but also dangerous. And to assume our ancestors were always right could lead our hearts, minds, and spirits to embrace endless negativity.Â