We believe that the world has entered a new era, and we need a new way of life. Taoism may provide a good choice. Everyone is welcome, and please leave your comments. Please visit: http://taoism21cen.com Dr. You-Sheng LI.
The Evidences that Indicate the World has Entered a New Era:
1. Humans were waging wars continually along the history of civilization, and their wars were upgraded continually in terms of numbers of people involved as more nations joined in. The maximum size of war humans could entered was when all humans on earth joined in and when all nations divided into two huge campuses. This is the two world wars and the cold war era.
2. When wars are going on, humans are urged to work hard for survival. When wars are over, people care for themselves. They take time to enjoy life, and life becomes more humanized. From baby boomers to generation X, and to generation Y, people seem becoming more relaxed, more distanced from materialism but closer to self-happiness or spirituality.
3. Modern technology of communication has brought humans on earth closer than before, and the world has become a globe village. People can chat with each other on the internet no matter where they are.
4. The wealth-building culture, which started with the Renaissance and hallmarked with the capitalist system, seems that it will be cut off by resource limitation and environmental problems, and especially by the final realization that wealth provide us convenience and comfort but not happiness. It is most apparent if we consider that in Canada and USA, the suicide rate was double during the last century.
New Age can mean different thing to different people. But one thing is certain, a new age will start a new generation. I often read some negative comments on generation x or generation Y. For example, my Webster's New World College Dictionary defines generation x as "...often variously regarded as apathetic, materialistic, irresponible..."
I have a different view, and think people will become better as we moving towards a globe village where modern technology of communication has brought people more closer than ever before, and we are facing a relatively peaceful world.
"According to the Canadian author, Douglas Coupland, and others, generation X who were born in the 1970s are quite different in comparison with the baby boomer generation whose births followed the Secondary World War. Generation X are less materialistic, less money-oriented, more leisure-seeking, and put more value on individual freedom. In other words, generation X are closer to human nature while the boomer generation closer to the Western culture. It is not coincident that in the Taoist view, the young people are closer to nature since they have not been exposed to our culture for long."
I believe that when are moving away from the two second world wars, people will become closer to human nature. War makes people work hard for survival, and it make people feel a sense of urgent. People forget themselves when they have a urgent feeling. They also tend to be more rational and less emotional. I think the relatively peaceful environment, especially after cold war was over, will brace human nature as a whole not only parts that fit in the high competitive society. Humans may be lazer than before, but that is in human nature.
Good point. We really need to consider something new to face our world.
Q: What is it good for?
A: Defining a generation.
World War I. World War II. Viet Nam. These three conflicts have been seminal events for every twentieth-century American generation before our own. The significance of these wars goes beyond the lives lost, and the national consensus or national divisiveness they engendered. Each war, in its own way, resulted a crushing betrayal of expectations.
World War I, the "Great War," brought to a shocking conclusion the Victorian Era and the 19th century ideal of eternal progress. Barbed wire and poison gas crushed the idea of an ever-progressing civilization.
World War II brought us Hiroshima. On the day the first atomic bomb was dropped, the world changed irrevocably. Every person alive must now accept the fact that we have the capability to exterminate all of humanity.
Vietnam shattered the confidence of Americans that their nation was invincible.
Those born in the 1970s and after have had no such disappointments. We still believe that technology will make us free, for we have never truly seen the enormity of destruction that technology can bring. On the contrary, the Persian Gulf War showed us images of warfare as video game, stripping the encounters of their terror and destructiveness. With the end of the compulsory draft in the early 1970s, the threat of being exposed directly to war receded even farther from the consciousness of the new generation. It is true that, thanks to the communications revolution, warfare around the world is brought to our doorstep instantaneously. We know exactly what is happening in the streets of Somalia, Bosnia, and Kuwait City as it is occurring. At the same time, the images are distant, otherworldly. These conflicts are not about us. They will have no effect on our daily lives.
Clearly, we do not live in a world without war. More people have died in armed conflicts since the end of World War II than perished during that struggle. But we do live in a world where war is no longer a reference point. We do not draw a straight line from technological innovation to napalm-engulfed babies or disintegrated cities. We are enthralled by the potential of technology, captivated by its aura, unwilling to imagine the apocalyptic potential of what humanity has created. So we dive in, headfirst. We give ourselves up to technology, whether it be credit cards or home video games.
But the implications of the absence of war go deeper. There are two sides to war as it has affected American society. In addition to the destruction of expectations, war has also had the effect of crystalizing who we are. War causes people to focus on their identity, and to distinguish themselves from the "other." The two World Wars united Americans against external enemies, while Viet Nam created two opposing groups within American society. For the younger generation of the 1960s, the one that opposed the Viet Nam war, the conflict provided a focal point for generating an identity.
The new generation, the children of those Baby Boomers that fought the Viet Nam war, has neither suffered the crushing of idealism nor experienced that exuberance of identity that result from war. We believe that the future should be bright, but we have lost the connections that color our view of what we want the future to bring us. Alone in a world of opportunity, we seek consolation in our technological toys, but the solace they give us is ultimately unsatisfying.
What will be our substitute for war?