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What excuses are you using to avoid facing the new future?

I recently had a short conversation with a well-known person in the community with excellent professional training. The theme was the new future created not only by the pandemic, but also by the collapse of the Eurocentric project of modernity. This person told me, however, that she had no time for the future.

"I have no time for the future," were his exact words. Not having time for one of the dimensions of time is, without a doubt, a paradoxical and self-contradictory expression. But it is also an expression of anguish, existential confinement, and despair.

“Not having time for time”, when said by a temporary being such as human beings, is a way of saying that we are no longer interested in our own being, that we have already stopped being human and have reified ourselves. We treat ourselves as timeless and try, in vain, to remove our temporality.

Before I was able to say anything (and I was not planning to do it), this person added: "I don't have time for the future because I have to renovate my office." At first, I thought I understood the explanation: the pandemic has forced us to redesign our workplaces, to maximize the effectiveness of working there.

In today's context, having an ergonomic and ecologically friendly office is a great advantage. And if new technologies are added to that, that office ceases to be a workplace to become a meeting point with the world, a space of opening to others and to new ideas, to be highly creative. 

But that's not what the person I was talking to was trying to say. I felt her saying something like "I have to take refuge in my office", in the double sense of "My work is my world" and "My office is a place where I am in charge and can control". 

In a way, this person seeks to transform his office into a "cave" in which she can hibernate as long as necessary until the pandemic passes, something similar to what bears do every time winter arrives. And that confinement, both physical and existential, prevents this person from connecting with the new future.

"Remodeling the office" can be understood as the desire to repeat the past and perpetuate the present, to forget that the future has already changed and to roll back time to a more satisfactory situation than facing profound, inevitable, and irreversible changes.

In other words, “remodeling the office” is a confession of having become addicted to ourselves, that is, of not wanting to stop being who we are at this moment, even if we somehow understand that that way of being is already obsolete. There is no use building a thick-walled castle if the attackers arrive with cannons and gunpowder. 

The question then is: what "office" or what "cave" or what "castle" are each of us building so as not to face the new future? And what price will we pay for doing it? The emerging future will reveal it. 

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