Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Why am I, a professor of literature, devoting attention to the subject of human potentials (or what I call “human frontiers”)?

I answer: to think about and attempt to envision the future is a kind of fictioneering, a making up of something not existing, but yet plausible and maybe probable, which is what the writers of stories and dramas do.

As many futurists today like to say, they are trying to tell the New Story we humans need to live by so as not to continue wreaking havoc on ourselves, each other, and our Earthly biosphere.

We live by myths and stories embodied in our various cultures, a body we inhabit habitually, unconsciously, by early and continuous conditioning. Yet as we come to understand the arbitrariness of our enculturation, we see that as we intentionally reshape the stories that shape our minds and behaviors, we may reshape our lives and environment accordingly—consciously, creatively, cooperatively.

I believe that as human beings we need to ask ourselves: “What is the best that we can make of ourselves, individually and collectively?” Our answers will then constitute the cultural stories that can guide us toward our goals.