When humans are rolling in a grave it is busily preparing for our species and many others, we may need to learn to become more comfortable thinking and talking about the unthinkable, such as our imminent demise. Everyone dies.
We like happy endings. But we know that this is not how life works.
This is not pessimism. This is reality. But we live in a world that likes to create its own realities to avoid the messy truths of life.
Resilience recognizes that life can be short. Life can also feel like an eternity. Perspective changes our perceptions. Perspective was the revolution of the Renaissance, changing the way humans perceive the world.
Technology has fundamentally changed the way we perceive the world. By documenting the changes and our ability to adapt, we increase our ability to adapt to change, a phenomenon that has been described as the adjacent possible. We refer to the slow process of change over time as evolution. But the pace of change is accelerating. We call this a revolution.
Resilience is what we call the ability to adapt to change. Humans did not evolve to adapt to change as quickly as this world is changing. We are going to need a different strategy than what we have been using to date. We can either slow down the pace of change, or we can adapt to the pace of change—or both at the same time. Or we do none of these things, and life passes us by. And, isn’t that one of our greatest fears: the fear of missing out?
It seems that there are a couple options available to us. Either life happens to us, or life is what we make it. I reality, neither are true. Individuals in monolithic systems feel powerless to effect any changes to the system. Yet, individuals have changed the world.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
Life is change. Life adapts. Life learns resilience by collecting knowledge and tools for better sensemaking and redesigning tools to adapt to a changing environment. In the process, we change the environment and we change the world around us.
We thought that the universe was in a state of entropy. But life reveals to us something different, the infinite potential of syntropy—the ability for time, energy, and matter to transform into creative, collaborative, self-organizing, learning communities of living systems.
The realization that human beings have the immense power to adapt to our environments and, thereby, to change our environments comes with the responsibility to realize that, at scale, our evolutionary adaptations can actually change the world. This raises the question, “What kind of world do we want to build?”
As human beings, we are a builders collective. We are world builders. Collectively, we are exploring how we imagine, design, and build the future together.
Resilience is what got us here. Resilience is what will bring us into the future.