Like millions of people across the planet, I watched in fascination today as President-Elect Obama was sworn in to become President-In-Fact of the United States of America. Mark the day on your calendar and write about it in your journal – January 20, 2009 – because this day marks what will become one of those “where were you when…” events that people reminisce about in future years.
And that begs the obvious question: what will that future look like?
Nobody can answer this question, of course; the only thing we can say with certainty right now is that many of us feel a certain level of anxiety about the future. Read the newspaper — there is a lot going on in the world right now that we should be worried about.
And I think it is this deep uncertainty about the future that makes President Obama’s achievement so bitter-sweet. Like a surprise 40th birthday party when you realize that you have a large group of family and friends that care about you, only to wake up the next morning to the reality that half of your life is over, Obama’s presidency is overshadowed with mounting anxiety and despair about the future of this country in particular, and the world in general.
Welcome to your new job, Mr. President.
Indeed, within the first minute or so of his inaugural speech, President Obama noted that “..there are gathering clouds and rising storms….” in our future. Every one of the speakers to the day’s events made reference to the incredible challenges and difficulties we must collectively face as we move into the next decade of the 21st Century. Its almost as if they were purposefully dashing cold water onto the hopes and dreams of an increasingly expectant populace.
And in fact, I would wager your dwindling salary that they were doing exactly that (assuming you have a job).
Managing expectations is a mandate in a world that is looking for a savior.
To expect one man to turn this country and world around is no more realistic, nor fair, than to blame one man for all of its ills. It took us years to get here and it will take us years to get out. While it is great to have a president that inspires us, moves us to tears, challenges us to engage, and takes on the institutions of the elite; it is something entirely different to alter the run-away inertia of a species that can’t seem to live in harmony with the planet that gives them their very life, or with each other. One man can’t change the primal programming of a species…
Global population has doubled in the past 40 years.
The majority of the planet lives in poverty.
Food & Water supplies are dwindling.
Global Warming is changing the weather in radical ways, threatening coastal cities.
Deforestation is killing the planet’s lungs…its mechanism for breathing and cleaning the air.
Biodiversity is threatened by increasing numbers of species extinctions.
Religious fanaticism is on the rise.
And, oh yea, 2012 with all its attendant predictions is right around the corner.
This isn’t gloom-mongering. Its reality, and, I might add, an incomplete list.
So, I think the coded message in today’s speeches was actually fairly clear for those with ears to hear: It will likely get much worse before it gets better.
So my question to you is simple: Are you Prepared for the ‘worst’ part of that story? If not, perhaps you should begin preparing today.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
Kevin Baum http://www.survivalOutpost.com