Be Brave - Its a New World

Dianne St. Jean
Be Brave - Its a New World

Do you know the meaning behind the term ‘Brave New World’? 

It’s usually used to refer to a new and hopeful period in history resulting from major changes or paradigm shifts in society.

One of its characteristics is that these changes may also be seen as threatening by some, usually because they bring about discomfort.

Indeed, when facing changes on a scale that are potentially life-altering, it can be scary, especially when elements bringing about those changes are not yet familiar or understood.

Yet look throughout the world’s history. More often than not major changes, whether in industry, science, even religion, have been met with some degree of resistance. 

Now just imagine if all proposed changes were successfully squelched. Would we still be using candles for lighting? Still driving the heavy gas-guzzling vehicles that were pumping our atmosphere with lead, or further back yet, still using horse and buggy? Recall the fears and fallacies over the introduction of the first (smallpox) vaccine – after all, who in their right mind would ever consider deliberately introducing disease into our bodies, especially from a cow (the word “vaccination” by the way, is derived from “vaccinia”, a virus closely related to cowpox).

As said, there is always a degree of resistance whenever change comes.

On the other hand, resistance itself is not necessarily wrong or harmful. 

Again, look throughout history; the countries that did not initially resist Hitler suffered horribly as a result, as did the rest of the world.

Those who did resist, eventually (although it took some time to catch up to the damage), were able to bring about liberation.

All of those efforts proved ironically, in themselves, to bring about other ‘brave new worlds’.

I think, however, that resistance for the sake of resistance, or trying to hold on to old familiar ways just because that’s been our only experience itself is not a reason to resist change. As we’ve seen, the change has to have value.

Whether or not we agree or like it, there are issues we are being confronted with across the board in our present day, whether on our own local level, regionally, or globally.

I can run a long list, but I won’t. You get the idea. Tainted drugs, rampant overdoses, the challenges the legalization of marijuana brings with it…

Then there are things some consider to be not as much of a big issue, yet are just as life and society altering, like the upcoming generations being bound by screens and monitors and not being sufficiently physically active - to the point of concern that some parents may be healthier than their kids and outlive them.

But history shows us something else. The society that survives change does so because it also wards off the chaos that change can bring, and remains internally stable. Rome, historians say, was not defeated by her enemies, but by her own internal degradation and moral decay.

I say, let’s face these changes bravely, but let’s also keep in mind the lessons of history.