The more bad we see, the more we long for the good. In looking back over the twentieth century—in the wars, the devastation from divorce, the loneliness of the single life—we also see the good in our response.
We want genuine relationships based on true love, not a façade of commitment that covers a wandering heart. We want real relationships, quality goods, fresh organic foods, and clean air. We reject falsehood and abuse because we experienced it enough to now recognize its surface deception.
In the beginning of the twenty-first century, we have new abilities through technology—and new shortcomings because of technology. We don’t always know how to use the tools we’ve been given, the tools that allow our individuality to come forward. Once play is over, we’re faced with the question, What do I bring to the tools? We see what the tools can do with our natural talents, and then we see that we have to learn the tools—and they are tools of advanced technology.
The honeymoon is over and the real work has begun. Schools are scrambling to train the next generation of workers in technology. This is an era of retraining and new occupations, just as it was when automation changed the world. In the twenty years since the turn of the century, we have run out of clients for the specialized tech workers who started their businesses. Why? Because we coincidentally experienced a crippling crisis in the economy, not to mention that in the first year, we became acquainted with large-scale terrorism in our own homeland.
Solopreneurs are taking the place of corporate employees but who has the money to hire them—to hire them to manage the technology we are itching to use? So we have to join forces, make new corporations with roots in free enterprise, more than in the mass capitalism of product production. It’s a crisis of personal occupation, coupled with the knowledge of higher ideals practiced by individuals.
These are the seeds of a new economy. The old school will maintain the roots, and the mature generation can hold the fort of ideals, but the younger generation will flesh out the future with their minds and bodies. Heart and soul infuse us with motivation in times when our minds grapple with survival.
The real unseen power is in the forces of the human spirit that defy the containment of body and mind. We must understand this powerful, universally available resource if we are to overcome the challenges of the next ten or twenty years. Like a shark’s teeth, together we are a system that bites into life, many generations at a time.
A little information about sharks’ teeth is helpful:
The row nearest the front of the mouth is the “working” row of teeth, and they are the largest teeth in a sharks’ mouth. The second row of teeth is smaller than the first row of teeth, the third row of teeth is smaller than the fourth row, and so on. Every time a shark loses a tooth, the tooth in the row behind it moves up to take the lost tooth’s place…New teeth are continually grown in a groove in the shark’s mouth and the skin acts as a “conveyor belt” to move the teeth forward into new positions. (www.sharksavers.org)
All information makes us better able to deal with life, and your heart collects information relevant to your life, in particular. What the heart retains forms a logical sequence that serves one life best: yours. This is the root of meaning for people. Without heart, we are simply mechanical functions. And in the tech age, separation from heart is a natural requisite for working in the mechanical world of the computer.
We are close to gaining the wisdom of being separated from the natural world. A reduction of physical human contact heightens our natural desire to be in close proximity to other people. But mere presence and physical contact is not enough for the natural person. Once the superficial sensations are satisfied, we feel the emptiness stimulation cannot satisfy. The only way to be fully satisfied is to have heart satisfaction.
The new wave of spiritual hunger and exploration comes to the rescue. Becoming aware of core human needs, we realize that the invisible qualities of human interaction do have the power to satisfy. If we realize that those invisible qualities reside in the spirit of every person, we raise the value of every individual. As the value of the individual is raised, we find that the heart is the place of communication where we might share true intimacy.
Sensing the heart of a thing, of ourselves, and of other people is a discipline I believe we will learn more deeply throughout the 21stcentury. All the history and dynamics of the far and recent past are interpreted in individuals. Each of us has the capacity and the responsibility to know ourselves and to perform our unique assignment in our place in history. The mind may have trouble with this knowledge, but the heart can dance to its tune.