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.
I was recently invited to talk to a group of community leaders and I decided to talk about one of the topics that I have been studying for many years: the emerging future. The presentation and the dialogue went well, even when of the participants said, âWe shouldnât be talking about thatâ.
I asked the participant ânot in a confrontational way, but with sincere curiosityâ what then should be the topic of a conversation among community leaders if we canât talk about the future. The answer was clear and immediate: we should talk about âworkâ and about âpractical thingsâ.
I was tempted to ask the participants to raise their hands if they were over 18 to see how many âadultsâ were in the room. Obviously, I said nothing of that. I simply asked again, this time more firmly, what should be the topic of the dialogue if we canât talk about the future. If, as it is clear, things are not working in the present and if the future is no longer a continuation of the past, why canât we talk about the future?
I was not trying to âforceâ my presentation on the group. After all, what I was about to tell them I already knew it. I was more interested in listening to the group âmost of them with college degrees and years of experienceâ, to see what they had to say about their experience of the tension between a present (almost) impossible to understand and a future (almost) impossible to anticipate.
My desires were fulfilled only up to a point because some participants âsuddenly rememberedâ they had other meetings or places to go and others âsuddenlyâ received phone calls they had to answer. A few decided to stay, and we had a good, solid, productive conversation.
Later, on my way back and with time to reflect, I understood two things. First, it was the case that participants didnât want to listen to me or to talk about the future: they didnât want to listen to themselves.
One of the participants told me that, despite his studies, degrees, and experience, in spite of all that and of his high position in the organization, he was still unable to understand what was happening in the community and. therefore, he was unable to respond in any meaningful way to the needs in the community.
In other words, that nameless feeling of sending that in the emerging future they will become obsoletes, instead of listening to that challenge, they decided not to listen, a natural reaction of protecting oneself by closing your mind, heart, and ears instead of challenging oneself in the new future.
Second, I also understood that if you are not in a safe, secure, comfortable place, it would be difficult for anybody to become aware of his/her adherence to obsolete ideas and of the need to mature as a person. And then I realized that I myself had to let go some of my own obsolete ideas.