A New Age
In two months, we will enter a new millenium. The last hundred years have seen remarkable things, as human knowledge grew by leaps and bounds.
In 1900, the world was being transformed by the industrial revolution. The automobile was just around the corner. The Wright brothers would soon make their historic flight. Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone was the tiny tip of what was to come. Scientists were beginning to make important discoveries in medicine.
Mount Everest had not yet been conquered. No one had yet reached the North and South Poles. Travelling to the moon was only the stuff of science fiction.
Techology and the explosion of human knowledge has resulted in remarkable progress in the 20th century. Communication is instantaneous and global. The jet has turned our world into a village. Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” seems to have happened so long ago.
But the 20th century also saw the continued weaknesses of humankind. There were two world wars and countless smaller ones. Two-thirds of the world still exists in poverty and hunger. Slavery is still alive in pockets around the world. Tyrants and madmen still practice ethnic cleansing. Pat Buchanan wants to be president of the United States.
The human race, so clever in many ways, still seems to have a hard time deciding between right and wrong. But progress is being made in the education of man. We are getting smarter. Old prejudices and intolerant attitudes are slowly diminishing. Kicking and screaming, humankind is moving cautiously towards a new world order.
Our “village council,” the U.N., still has problems asserting its authority, but will become more and more effective as suspicion and mistrust slowly wane.
The 20th century has seen the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. But it has also seen Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
In the new millenium, the knowledge revolution will accelerate. This revolution will make the industrial revolution look like the Stone Age. It will not take days or hours to travel around the world, but minutes. The stuff of Star Trek will become reality. Our new Mount Everest will be Mars, or beyond.
As out world continues to shrink, our interdependence with all peoples and our environment will become clear to all of us. Our children and grandchildren will live in very interesting times.