“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
Those words of Kierkegaard may strike a chord in your heart this morning.
For many, the future is a terrifying unknown; a dark void of uncertainty and instability.
Those who subscribe to Murphy’s law: “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” may look to the future with a deep feeling of unease.
Though this is all true–the future is indeed uncertain and unknown–that does not necessarily make it a terrifying unknown, rather, it is a beautiful enigma! A mystery for us to solve! A world for us to create!
As we struggle with the overwhelming contemplation of the future, we can find solace and hope in the paintings of the Italian Futurists.
The Futurists of Italy emerged in the early 20th Century. Their work celebrated new technology and modernization while at the same time advocating for a resolute break from the past. Working in the years just before World War I, the Futurists portrayed their subjects– humans, machines, and vehicles in the midst of a frenzy of motion–with fragmented forms and surfaces that evoke the energy and dynamism of urban life in the early 20th century. Their work looks to the future not with crushing fear nor blind hope, but with optimistic determination. They seem to say with each piece:
“we can make a better world.”
As you wonder what this world’s future holds for us with all of the new technology:
AI, data mining, cryptocurrency…
All of the unstable politics:
America, Canada, Venezuela, Russia, Turkey…
All of the new ideologies:
LGBT+, Alt-Left vs. Alt-Right, Antifa and the Proudboys…
You may start to feel troubled; I know I do.
The Futurists show us that, although the future can seem frightening, it is also brighter, it’s just up to us to make it so.
That goes for everything: The great and massive big-picture future of humanity, and our own personal, smaller, but no-less-important individual futures. No matter the case, you are the one who decides what your own life has in store for you. At the very least, you decide how you will deal with what is in store for you.
Will you succumb to fear and terror? Or will you stand your ground in the face of the darkness, defying the snarling jowls of hopelessness and despair? The future is what we make of it; mine, yours and ours.
Look upon the works of these masters and contemplate their message:
Live your life forwards, with contemplated courage and unblind hope, dear Examiner.
The Golden Scribe