Anticipating the future is always extremely difficult, and most of the time it proves to be highly inaccurate. Nonetheless, making intelligent inferences about the most likely future outcomes is a crucial task for individuals, society and businesses in general. Planning could not exist without it.
There are two elements of utmost importance, as an indispensable foundation for the future:
- Where do we come from and
- How we got to where we are now
In short, know the past. The present globalization stage makes knowledge of the past and the trajectory we all have had in arriving to where we currently are more evident than ever.
Granted, knowing the past, in itself, cannot guarantee anything. Not knowing the past, however, is a great drawback, a most potentially harmful and risky circumstance. Knowledge of history is important at all levels: individual, family, corporate, country and mankind in general.
The lessons that can be learned from an appropriate analysis of the past are as abundant as useful. Which is why so many great thinkers have wisely admonished mankind about it. George Santayana, used to say with irony: “Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
In my book, Globalization, this factor has been thoughtfully considered. Humanity has this never-ending cycle, also applicable to any given country. We all come from the most simplest roots: cavemen. We then grossly evolved into many other barbaric stages: the Huns with torturous practices, the Vikings with their unstoppable aggressions, and the Aztecs with their human sacrifices, and contemporary mankind with two great world wars, among many others.
Naturally, mankind has also displayed abundant positive traits and contributions along the way. As centuries have passed by, humanity has gradually been evolving intellectually (and even morally), as we should. Our ancestors began to seek a standing place for their revolutionary ideals: La Fête Nationale (French Revolution), the American Civil War, and the Indian Independence movement, among others. Currentlly, according to Gideon Rachman (Financial Times columnist), we are in the midst of the “age of mounting indignation”: riots in London, the Arab Spring, and the Occupy-Wall Street movement, among others. In a parallel, simultaneous, very encouraging development, mankind has been highly focusing on the voice of the single individual, and its inseparable collective entity version.
We shouldn’t only learn from humanity’s history at large, but from our own family’s and the company we work for as well. The never-ending cycle does not only apply to the clumps of society which happen to form a country, but it also applies to each person which is a part of that clump. We need to take advantage of the fact that we have begun to act more effectively as this greater individual and hop on the tracks that is leading us towards the next stage of human development within the never-ending cycle.
The vast accumulated knowledge and experiences of humanity to this date lend themselves handsomely for truly great improvements in the near future. And based on our previous cycles, it looks like this new stage of development promises to be a fantastic opportunity for society to raise the human cause to new heights, through a Revolutionary Evolution. We owe it to our ancestors, to the world and to ourselves.