As humans, we tend to focus on what the future will bring, what will come next, and how we can best prepare. As a society, we have always made predictions about what our collective future will look like, how our communities will function, and what the next big opportunity will be. Many of these predictions have felt unrealistic and quite dream-like at times, with flying cars and hoverboards, but in today’s world, with so much shift occurring within our society, much is unknown and many have been left feeling weighted when thinking about immediate future.
Borders are an increasingly relevant and intense topic that has come to feel personal and loaded for many. With our ability to move between the borders we have created with greater ease than ever, the rules of how, when, and why we can do so have struggled to keep up with our realities. Our opinions and experience in whether or not these borders should be less or more important as people move across them more often is increasingly divisive. While we can guess at where people will move, how this will impact our communities, and what our responses should be, we can also look to our history of migration as a whole to see the potential pitfalls and positive outcomes of these movements.
The people who live, work, and move within these borders create and shape the spaces that exist in them. Our cities and communities look and act differently depending upon who uses them and what our goals are for the future. Many of the ways we now interact with one another and the world around us involve technology. These technologies have largely impacted how we create and move within the spaces we inhabit, from how we eat to how we date, which means they will be closely intertwined within the ways we evolve and create our future communities.
Technology brings with it a universe of questions, advances, changes, and new frontiers to be explored and understood. How will we interact with increasing artificial intelligence? How will this technology help us to protect our planet more effectively? Will we trend towards having more fun in our lives because of technology? Will we be able to live longer, healthier lives?
Our futures are shaped by the decisions we make today. Each and every decision has a longer impact than we think. Today, the language that continues to speak the loudest is how we spend our money. The purchases and investments we make on a daily basis speak to how we want our society to look. If you look at your past month, what have you been saying with yours?
With constant connection and our ability to access information increasing, the question of how do we feel about all of these changes is an important one to address with one another. Listening to and understanding alternative perspectives is a skill that is of increasingly vital importance in a world shifting as much as ours is. The decisions each of us have the ability to make are much more important than we think. In thinking about our future, we should be able to share and listen to one another without fear and without anger. We should strive to openly discuss our experiences and opinions, with flexibility and growth in mind.
Now, if you’re feeling stressed about the future, remember that you’re not alone, that uncertainty is a vital and healthy part of life. It is the time in which we typically learn the most about ourselves, where we face truths we have avoided, and where we have the potential for immense growth. Stress is natural, but should not be overpowering. Breathe and take a look at these five ways to feel more calm about an uncertain future.
1. Ration your exposure to news and potentially avoid the news altogether. If you feel staying in touch will help you more, try to choose two or three times a day (or week) that you will check in, but make sure you unplug once you are done.
2. Try seeking advice about the topics that concern you the most. Instead of looking at the situation as a whole, break it down into bite sized portions that impact your life and talk to experts.
3. Do what makes you feel good- maximise the chances that you’ll be able to think logically and rationally. Try spending at least 10 minutes each day practicing mindful breathing, meditation, yoga, or just outside in nature. Listen to what makes your body and mind feel good and do it more often.
4. Surround yourself with loved ones. Meet up with friends as often as you can. Try to limit your time speaking about current events- or any of the issues that may prove overwhelming to you.
5. Lastly, take positive action. Do something that will help someone other than yourself, work for a cause that you believe in. If you’re feeling helpless and overwhelmed about the future, doing something positive for another human being is a concrete way to restore your faith in humanity.
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