We get told by so many sources that we co-create or even entirely create our own reality. The strength that we possess, so we are told, is the power of imagination and thought. What we think, and how we react to that, will steer our reality and with it the future of ourselves and those around us. We get told to start thinking of how we want things to be, how we wish for things to go ahead, and are assured that somehow reality will find a way to make that happen.
So here is my vision of the future. This is how I hope things will be, how I see a society that is no longer driven by crime or greed, where the division between have and have-not ceased to be. This vision is mine, it does not need to be yours.
But the point of this exercise is that I want you to write down your own, think about your vision, think of how you would like things to be. Without a clear vision, you cannot create.
9:30 AM - I am woken up by the soft chime over the house speakers. Normally they would play selected music, or even radio broadcasts, but today I have programmed the house computer to wake me at this time. Lights slowly come up in my room and the hallway beyond the door, blinds slowly rise to let the sunlight filter in. The domotics system has kept the house on a constant temperature throughout the night, and it is comfortable when I get out of bed. Normally I wouldn't wake up this early, but I had agreed with the supervisor at my volunteer work to come in a bit earlier. The colleague who normally enjoys working such early shifts is on holiday, and I gladly cover for them. By the time I get to the bathroom, the bath has already filled itself and is pleasantly warm. Ideal to relax in, and the house computer warns me at exactly 10 AM that is time to get ready for work. It asks me to confirm that I actually wish to work today, and having no other plans I respond in the positive. The reply is sent to the supervisor at the station, her own computer system automatically filling in the blanks in the roster as the replies come in. My clothes were freshly laundered during the night, everything done automatically by the domotic system. Downstairs, I make myself a sandwich, cleaning up after myself and secure in the knowledge that by the time I come home, the house will have cleaned itself and done the dishes. I glance briefly at the news updates downloaded to my dataslate as it sits on the hallway table. There is a mention of the celebration of the Decade of Illumination. For a moment I stop and wonder where those ten years have gone. Before I head out, I take the credit stick from where it lay next to the dataslate and look on the indicator screen to check my balance. 750 credits. There is a beep just as I check and the balance is increased by 250 credits. After all, the house computer had noticed I was about to leave and downloaded some more credits into the stick. 250 credits is enough for me to eat out for a week, if I don't go to any places that are too fancy. They're not deducted from any account, they were simply created on the spot. I never bother to lock the door on my way out.
10:30 AM - Outside, I can smell the fresh earth and the moisture on the leaves. It had been raining all night, as was scheduled, to keep a balance between comfort and practicality. After all, nature needs that rain, and we enjoy being in nature. Ever since we learned to control the weather, ending drought, famine and floods, dataslates were able to give an accurate prediction of the weather in any given location at any given time. I spend another twenty minutes chatting with my neighbor, catching up with how the family is doing. Five minutes of walking sees me to the local transporter hub. Many people fly private transports, but a good few like me still take the public transporter. In my case, I've spent so long relaxing and chatting that I'm already late, and the transporter will get me to where I need to be instantaneously. There is a fizzle of light as I step into the booth, select my destination and materialize in the station's transporter hub.
11:00 AM - I walk into my supervisor's office and apologize for being late. She understands that I felt the need to talk to member of the local community and gladly accepts the apology. There wasn't much for me to do anyway, and the few people who were waiting were happy to do so. I go out and meet them, listen to their problems. It's what I volunteer to do. Jobs as such simply no longer exist, and many people gravitated naturally to what it is they did best. For me, that is helping others. The station still ran trains even though they were anachronistic and very slow by modern standards. But they were also comfortable. Since it is possible to simply take the transporter to wherever one needs to go in an instant, travel had ceased to be about going from point A to point B. These days, it is all about enjoying the journey to the fullest. In the past, any problems would have seen many screaming and angry people, but in these days a sincere apology for inconvenience suffices. We sit down and discuss the problem, to come to a mutually agreeable solution. It doesn't take long. There are simply no more seats available on the train they had hoped to take. Being a free service, it happens that the train fills up suddenly and we have to disappoint people. The next train leaves in one hour, and I reserve the best seats I can find for them to make up for the extra wait in the station. I also offer to take them for a chat over coffee, but they politely refuse. They'll use the extra hour for a surprise visit to their friends and head off to the transporter. I walk around the station and chat to people, helping those that seem a bit lost, and generally enjoy myself being friendly to strangers.
14:00, 2 PM - I walk back into the supervisor's office, and inform her that my shift is at an end. There are already a few others in there. A problem, they tell me, too many people volunteered to work. It is sorted out amiably among us, and one of the people to go on shift is Arahmos, my Arcturan friend. Despite the decade of friendly contact with so many off-earth cultures, it was awkward at first to work with them. By now, all semblance of division between humans and off-earth cultures had gone entirely. Nobody even blinked anymore when they passed one another in the street, and it seemed as if everyone was fluent in every ritual of greeting conceivable. Humans are strange that way, Arahmos had once told me, they need so long to get used to an idea that by the time they finally get used to it, it's become second nature. We have another talk, and I finally take my leave. My credit stick beeps again, with the addition of another 750 credits. I technically don't need to come in again for another month, unless I really want to. Some people do that, work five days a week for a whole month, just like in the old days. They are the ones flying around in the latest transports and having the best of the best. But nobody is envious of that, really. They put the time in and get the rewards. All I need to do to get the same is work as much as they do. All things considered, I prefer to stick to my three to five days a month of volunteer work.
16:00, 4:00 PM - I had lunch in the park, watching the blue skies and people enjoying themselves. Occasionally, a Syrian-pattern sub orbital transport would fly overhead, creating a localized rainbow where its zero point plating interacted with the hydrogen in the air. They didn't fly any faster than the old ramscoop combustion liners humans used to fly, but they are safe and clean. In my mind's eye, I can imagine the passengers standing on the observation deck, enjoying their leisurely journey through the skies. My wanderings in the afternoon take me to the transporter dealership. Like almost every time I'm nearby, I go in to have a talk with the director. I knew him years ago, desperately trying to make ends meet. Nowadays, he is a good humored man with time to spare for anyone who walks through his door. It seems that without having to worry about profit margins, credit and contracts, he enjoys his work all the more. Would I like to buy the latest model personal transporter, he wonders. The clean and efficient transporters on display seem to have jumped straight out of the sketchbook I had as a kid. All passenger bubbles, fins and gleaming synth-steel. He specializes in these models. With the engines basically the same across all personal transporters, zero point anti-grav propulsion with no emissions and an almost inexhaustible power pack, looks were the key. My friend understood this well, had understood that long before the Decade of Illumination. Only now it makes him successful rather than lagging behind. The price display on a zippy blue transport reads 1500 credits, and for a moment I'm tempted. I had enjoyed flying my old transport a few years ago, but found that I enjoyed it so much that I did nothing but fly around for days on end. I simply didn't trust myself not to get carried away again, so I politely decline. But my friends notices my slight hesitation, the instincts of a salesman still strong. Whenever I change my mind, he tells me, that transport will be there for me. On my way out, I pass a Syrian who is excitedly telling a gathered group of interested people how zero point energy works, in case any of them ever want to volunteer as an engineer or transport designer.
19:00, 7:00 PM - I had taken the long route home, passing by places and people not usually encountered. Having no place to be the next day, I dropped by the local gym for a workout. Several years ago, it was feared that abundance would make everyone so lazy their health would decline sharply. Gyms had risen to the challenge and the machines nowadays actually rewarded you with credits depending on how well you did. A challenging workout in a gym could earn you as much as a day's work, which was perfect for people who had to spend a while to get in shape. Credits were so easy to get, I muse, that by now we could easily do without. But some things are hard to let go. Once again, I think back to Arahmos' wise words. We do take a while to get used to a new idea. On my way home, I pass by a man sitting on the corner. Instantly it makes me worry, as poverty was simply something that had ceased to be. Anyone sitting like that must be in serious trouble, and I stop to ask what's wrong. The man has tears in his eyes, and it takes him a minute or two to form coherent words. He apologizes to me. Why, I ask. He tells me he is so happy that everything worked out so wonderfully and that he nearly stopped it all from happening. He's a criminal, he says, from before the Decade of Illumination. He had expected to face the wrath of the people, to be exiled or executed. But far worse... they had simply forgiven him. For years he lived and worked like any other, until today. The anniversary. Ten years, he tells me, he cannot take it anymore, he nearly ruined it all for everyone. Ten years ago I would have given him a lecture, today I feel sorry for him. The first thing I do is help him stand back up. I invite him to my house, but he refuses, claiming he does not deserve such kindness. The credit stick is burning a hole in my pocket, and suddenly everything becomes so very clear. I make him an offer.
11:00 AM, Next day - I sit on the deck of the luxury yacht I had rented for the week. The crystal clear Caribbean sea bobs beneath us. The man I met the day before sits next to me, staring out into the ocean. I can tell he is at peace with himself, this reminded him of his old life. It had cost me 1500 credits to arrange this, but that's hardly any price to pay for someone's happiness. A few hours in the gym, two days volunteering at work... That transporter could wait for another few days. I had nowhere more important to be...
Tell me how you see the future, how you would like it to be. Write it down, reply to this post, or make a blog post of your own. Create the future with me.