Monday, December 27, 2010

Per Ardua Ad Astra (Through Struggle to the Stars)

Per Ardua Ad Astra is the phrase embedded in the crest of the Royal Australian Airforce. It translates to "Through Struggle to the Stars". This phrase has taken on significant meaning for me over the last 12 months. Those who know me will know that I have been working on my PhD thesis for the last six years. When I started that journey I was very pessimistic about the future of the human race - species homo sapien sapien.

As I have journeyed through my own voyage of discovery to develop my own philosophical body of work, I started out from the technology world of information systems developed for military and emergency service. From that launchpad I ventured into human psychology, human philosophy and thence into the realm of anthropology and human development. Throughout that process I developed an understanding of the human enterprise and its journey through the ages.

One of the key things I discovered was that, as a species, we are remarkably adaptive.

From our origins in Africa, the journey of the human enterprise has been punctuated by periods of significant advancement - events that changed the game for our species. It has also been punctuated by events that had the potential to render our species extinct. But through all those events, we learned to adapt, to evolve, to develop new skills and to triumph against adversity.

It is true as a species that we face some challenges that have the potential, yet again, to, at the very least, destroy the functions of human civilization. Perhaps even to render our species extinct. Yet we have this capacity to adapt that means I am optimistic about our capacity to not only survive, but as a result of challenge to adapt and evolve further. To emerge wiser and ready to continue our journey to the stars - for that is where our future lies.

As we ponder how to adapt to the challenges of climate change, of the development of a global society and ethic, lets also stand on this world and think about reaching out to the next one.

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