Happiness is understanding and accepting impermanence.
That said, even happiness is impermanent, like everything else. Without impermanence, there can be no life. Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. Asserting that all conditioned existence is transient, evanescent, and inconstant, impermanence is a concept found in various aspects of Hinduism and Jainism.
Cutting edge technology becomes obsolete. Medical breakthroughs avert certain disasters. Music goes from futuristic to contemporary to nostalgia. Idols and celebrities whom we revered but never met die young.
The Time Machine is a recent phenomena(of the 1800s). A thousand years ago people had no inkling of what today would have been like, Just like, we, the present generation, will have no inkling of what it would be a few hundred years from now. Except some crystal ball gazing or educated guesses.
Impermanence is the law of the universe. Our experience and relationship with time keeps changing. The concept of time zones was a derivative of clocks. (As an aside, Sir Sanford Fleming, a Canadian engineer, was the first person to propose the use of worldwide time zones back in 1878. His idea was to divide the world into 24 time zones that were each 15 degrees of longitude apart. The reason for this is that the earth rotates 15 degrees every hour, or 360 degrees in 24 hours). And mind you we didn’t have clocks till such time we invented cities.
Our idea of history is vague(what has been told to us- the concept of some people walked the earth some aeons ago)…and probably it is the same with our future. Whether we have a role in it, and will it shape up in the manner we envisage.
If the future were to be looked upon as an ‘ impressionist painting in landscape mode ‘, a couple of things will come to fore:
– The future will never stop surprising us and any control of it is only a myth in our heads.
– That said, we can have a greater role to play in the future and endeavor to make and leave an impact. Change is a culture thing and culture( and the way we can change it and therefore our future) can be only be changed by us, we, the people.
We will never have a stop watch to switch on and switch off the future, as and when we desire to. Nor can we request the future to lie still and wait for our nudge to get moving. Future is not an obedient toddler, unfortunately.
What definitely is in our control is the work we do, the stories we tell ourselves, the connections we establish, the paths we follow, the art we ship out- all of it determines our culture. And culture will echo what’s next!