Did you know four out of every five people never experienced how today's world has come to be what it is?
A 27-year-old man was playing with the 5-year-old son of a friend. The boy was building a toy crane with some plastic blocks. "Don't you need a steering wheel in the crane?" the young man asked the boy. "No," the boy quickly replied, almost in a disdainful tone. "The crane will be run by a computer!" Momentous changes in society are enough to leave even a person in his late 20s feeling perplexed and out-of-date. Advancements and occurrences that would have shocked people only a generation ago are taken for granted by preteen children today!
Effects of the Population Explosion
Population statistics show that the vast majority of people living now have no firsthand knowledge of critical events that shaped this society. They have no frame of reference, either experienced or learned, from which to understand world conditions — they have no vision! And yet, "Where there is no vision," declares the ancient book of Proverbs, "the people perish" (Prov. 29:18). Did you know, for example, that: • 79 percent of humanity has never lived in a world without the threat of atomic warfare hanging overhead? • 91 percent of people alive today were born after the 1929 U.S. stock-market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression? • 34 percent of mankind cannot remember the last Arab-Israeli war or U.S. military involvement in Vietnam? • Nearly four fifths of people today have never known the world before computers? • Some 74 percent cannot remember living without television and its pervasive influence? • 79 percent have been born since the Second World War ended? That they have never known a Europe that was not divided, or a world without the United Nations? • Nearly a third cannot remember the Arab oil embargo of 1972-73? • An overwhelming 96 percent were not around to experience the precommunist period? Having known nothing different, people tend not to look beyond the present situation. They fail to ask the insightful questions that a greater overview would engender: Why should matters be this way? Why is it assumed that this is the only way to live? What are the causes of today's world conditions?
To eliminate a problem — an effect — you must deal with the cause. A major flaw of modern thinking is that, too often, perfectly well-intentioned people, looking for solutions to problems, deal with symptoms rather than origins of the difficulties. Yet most people alive today cannot even begin to address the causes of this world's problems. They do not know how the world got in this shape! They are largely unaware of the great events that fundamentally transformed the way the world functions — events whose implications need to be understood to be able to effect intelligent, positive changes. Dealing with the massive crises facing the world today requires tremendous vision — a world overview — an understanding of what has gone before and how it has affected outcomes — a view, as it were, from higher up! The problem is that no human being has that perspective. Wise King Solomon of ancient Israel said of humans, "There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come by those who will come after" (Eccl. 1:11 , Revised Authorized Version). Those who lack historical vision cannot deal effectively with the major problems facing man today. You can learn to deal effectively with the times in which you live and avoid most of the coming horrendous results of man's mistakes by reading The Plain Truth every issue. And, fortunately for all people, One with "a view from higher up" is shortly going to intervene in this world's affairs — and with power to remove the causes of suffering, unhappiness and wars. That great power, the eternal God himself, will then share with humans the kind of great vision that guides him in living perfectly! What a change that will be in world affairs and in human lifestyles.