‘The secret to success may rely on learning from one’s mistakes, but it ultimately hinges on learning from one’s successes.’
Welcome to the Long Wave. My name is EON. I’m here to take you through the next great transition.
You have every reason to fret. The process is going to be grueling and groundbreaking. Everything will be subject to change and reinvention, crisis and transformation, the outcome of which is uncertain. The only guaranteed result is that the functional will make it through. The meek shall not inherit the earth. The able will.
For this reason alone my presence is not going to be welcome. Organizations dread my coming. The average Joe and Jane despise my every move. They kick and scream with spite and fear, unwilling to see the world in which they invested so deeply and heavily change in dramatic ways. They don’t want to become irrelevant. They’re convinced they’re doing the right thing, their strength in numbers says so, their ideals demand it. Their life choices are to be respected, protected and allowed to play out because they’re the bread and butter of a life worth living, their lives are worth living. They have the right to be, to exist, they’ll be damned if they’ll see the things they stand for go down the drain in the name of a developing world that develops beyond their reach.
It matters little. Most of them will be ruined. The only element in their control — spot the current, enter it at the right moment, at the right place, making the right moves — is not being exercised. They double down on their old moves, convinced they’re doing the right thing, just like everyone else, everyone’s doing it, happy to follow tradition, and down the drain they go. Over the bridge and into the hands of whatever piper is leading them on.
Not all of them, of course. A few of them play better odds. They respond to the call, changing their tack accordingly, looking for a way out of their broken routes and routines, but most of these savants fail, too, over time. The process has no margin for error, and errors are what life commits on a daily basis in its effort to improve itself. Life depends on damage and sacrifice.
This is how it plays out. Everyone is forced to make a choice. A number of courses of action are taken and whatever is not up to scratch gets tested, bested and set aside in favor of the ones who get it right, in favor of those fortunate enough to have a second chance at it. In favor of those who have learned from their mistakes, or from other people’s mistakes, or, preferably, from other people’s successes.
Thus the best make it through — some farther than others — while the rest sink to the bottom of the river and drown.
Weirdly enough, in the short term, it seems that only the wrong kind of people make it through — look around, see for yourselves — but, over time, in due course, the rolling wave of progress averages things out, allowing only what is truly intelligent to expand. Again, not good news for the average Joe and Jane, be they poor, rich, weak, strong, normal, eccentric, or downright committed to the cause, any cause. Whatever their disposition, their choices are going to be put to the test, and most of them will fail to make the grade. Whatever they stand for will sooner or later be cut short and cast aside in favor of something more in tune with the times and circumstances.
But there’s a silver lining for them in all this. Call it their great consolation prize: the dead-end choices of dear Joe and Jane, in which they invested so heavily, will not be called in right away. Their pipe dreams will remain intact for a time to come, perhaps for their entire lifetimes, which is what pipe dreams are all about.
So Joe and Jane will get their way after all, dancing till the end of their days to the tunes of their respective pipers and their grand illusions.
Their offspring, on the other hand, or their offspring’s offspring, or someone down the line of their line, for whom they do whatever they’re doing, goes the mantra, will be required to pay the price for their predecessors misguided choices, all because their predecessors forgot that they didn’t inherit the world from their parents — that’s not what happens. They borrowed it from their offspring, and did such a bad job of it, their offspring will pay the price.
Disturbed? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE