Sometimes something happens that almost no one sees coming. The mainstreaming of the Internet was such an event. When MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte was asked in 1994 why he had not foreseen the coming ubiquity of the Internet he lamely responded, "The Internet for us was like air. It was there all the time - you wouldn't notice it existed unless it was missing." This is but one example of numerous in human history where the most knowledgable among us are unaware of the obvious as it happens before their eyes. They are too familiar with the present and thus blind to the future and could not see what was really happening, nor understand its implications.
Paul Hawken’s new book, Blessed Unrest describes another and potentially even greater event in terms of humankind's future: a massive social transformation of government and business quietly taking place beyond the awareness of most people. The stealthy nature of this event is hinted in the book’s subtitle, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming.
Hawken takes the reader on a journey through time, starting out many centuries ago, to show how we got to where we are today in terms of how we are dealing with major societal problems, such as the beleaguered state of our natural environments.
At times a reader might wonder why Hawken pauses in the journey he takes us on to talk about life centuries ago. However, in the end he pulls together threads harvested from multiple spools of thought into a beautifully fashioned literary tapestry depicting humankind’s present situation on this planet.
This is yet another example of the revolution. Pay attention to what you may not be seeing and you may be the beneficiary of insights that will lead to better choices and decisions during the turmoil that is destined to embrace us all as the revolution moves ahead.