Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fear of the Future

Coming from a 17 year-old on the cusp of graduating high school these thoughts are neither coincidental nor abnormal. Truth be told, most people in their lives will reach a stage where they are on the edge of plunging into the unknown, be it a new job, a new place, or even new people, we’ve all been there. There seems to be something inherently similar in humans, a deep-rooted desire to stick to what we know, to resist any change and when that change becomes inevitable we do everything in our power to control it. Or, at least give ourselves the impression that we are in control of it.

Sitting here at 1am after receiving my SAT scores and then relentlessly revisiting the sites which I have been visiting for the past 6 months to see where I stand in the world and where I will most likely end up I have come to a realization. No matter how hard we try, no matter what illusions of fate or destiny we create, no matter the number of fortunetellers, palmists or tarot card readers we consult to comfort ourselves, we will never have control of our futures, and that is terrifying. In school we are taught to evaluate the consequences of our actions, to predict the outcome and take steps accordingly. But what are we meant to do when our predictions come up short and our evaluations are blinded by blankness?

We work in the present to create something for our future; we go to elementary school to prepare us for middle school in the future, we go to middle school to prepare us for high school in the future, we go to high school so that we can go to college in the future so that we can get a job in the future so that we can live a comfortable life in the future. So scared is humanity of the future that we have built our society around that fear. We are nurtured and bred to fear what may happen to us, so much so, that our purpose for the present is driven by fear and worry.

But for a moment, consider the possibility that everything that would happen to us in this world was decided and set in stone. Would we then have the courage to live the way we hoped to live now? Without the worry of what will come tomorrow would humans today be motivated by passion rather than fear? It all leads to the age old question; if you knew you couldn’t fail what would you do? The truth is without any control of the future we may as well live in the present. If we live with passion and conviction, if we do things in life not for the future but for the present we will have the satisfaction of knowing that we did not live in fear and that we took action with strength. And if not that, what could be a better achievement?
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