We live in an era of modernity, an era of complicated technology, evolving science, and exponentially increasing progress. The rate in which our species, and our civilization, has developed over the last century, and over the last decade, is vastly greater than it had over the millennia which had preceded us. For the first time in human history, the future generation to be born will be born into a world that is vastly and starkly different than the one which their parents had been born into, a world which is so rapidly changing and evolving that it has now become impossible to predict, or even understand, what that future will look like.
Yet we must consider that, despite the rapidly increasing and growing advancement of our species and our civilization over the last and next hundred years, we still live in an era of ancient history; our species, and our civilization, will continue to exist for thousands of years. We live now in a period of time as remote and foreign to the humans of the future as the earliest societies of man are to us today. Our science, our technology, our ideas, and our customs are as simplistic and elementary to those who inhabit the far future as that of the cavemen and first agricultural settlements are to us in our current era. As our species finally begins to mature, globalize, and become one planetary society, these developments of our modern time will be as historically significant to our species for the humans of the future as the first settlements, the first cities, the first religions, and the first nations are for us today. While we today struggle to become a space-faring civilization, the inhabitants of the future will look at our progress like how we look at the first voyages of discovery, the first colonization of the Americas, the first railroads, the first airplanes.
We know little of the future. We can predict the events which will one day transpire and we can attempt to model the possible routes which the history of tomorrow will take, yet ultimately these will not be able to account for changes and developments which are yet to be seen and which will greatly impact the future like they have in the past. This future, however, does exist. It will one day happen. As evident as this statement may seem, it is far more profound, far more thought provoking, far more important than it may appear. Little did the ancients know of the world which would follow them 2000 years later, yet today we live in that world. Little did the monarchs of Europe know of the political and philosophical developments which would follow their reigns, yet we live in a world fundamentally changed from that time because of them. Little did the founders of the first religions know of those which would follow or the great thinkers of the past know how their philosophies would be used, yet today we live in a world profoundly shaped by them. Little do we know today of the far future, yet this future will come. The world we understand today will be so fundamentally changed, altered, and foreign to us in the future that we cannot begin to try to comprehend what the future may hold.
Having recognized this, we may begin to understand the nature of our species, and the nature of history. Although we as humans may remain the same throughout great expanses of time, our societies, our cultures, our technologies, and our understanding of things will change and vary vastly. We cannot hold onto truths as immutable, nor can we believe ourselves ever to be the pinnacle of understanding or progress. Yet we must also never take for granted the lives we currently live, the experiences which we currently possess and have. These experiences are unique to our place and time, to our current society and world, and as time marches forward these experiences will be lost forever, never to be had again. We must cherish them, understanding that they, like we, live in but a sliver of the vast extent of history that has and will be had.