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How important is it to think about the future?

How important is it to think about the future?

This question connects us with the very nature of who we are as human beings.

What does it mean to be a human being? How do we define the concept of humanity, distinguishing it from the broader concept of beings? What makes the human animal essentially different from the other animals?

One answer is conceptualization. The ability of one being who exists alongside all the other beings but is differentiated by an essential characteristic(s) that requires it to have its own group, its own identity.

A new group requires a new name for the group, for the new concept, to keep it delimited in the mind. Concepts are required to be able to think and communicate with others effectively.

Human beings are the animals in nature who can conceptualize. We are conceptual animals. We can remember what happened yesterday to predict what can happen tomorrow. We can live in the past (memories), the present (experiences), and the future through conceptualization.

From the past and present we can learn as far back as the written word, and then write as far forward as the internet and distributed blockchains. We share human knowledge through time and space by communicating conceptually. We can predict the future from our context of the shared past.

All other beings in nature rely primarily on their perceptual nature. For the most part, they live in day tight compartments taking actions to sustain daily life, eating, drinking, sleeping, and surviving. Animals throughout nature, all existing on the scale somewhere between the perceptual to the limited conceptual.

Humans are the only ones who can stream video, order takeout and make a date three weeks from now to NETFLIX and chill.

Is thinking about the future important? If we do not think about the future, we do not use the very tool that nature has given us to navigate it. If we do not think ahead by conceptualizing the future from our experiences of the past, then we have abandoned the essential characteristic that makes us who we are.

We are Thinking Animals.

How important is the future?

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