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It is time to start thinking about the 27th century

When civilization fell apart globally (and by many of the same factors that plague us today) in the 12th century BC, a group of dedicated forward-thinking people pledged to preserve and stabilize civilization, which it happened some 600 years later. Similarly, today we have to start thinking about the 27th century.

Let's be honest: we live in a time of constant, deep and irreversible change. Unexpected changes only unexpected by those who never learned, as Heraclitus suggested, to expect the unexpected. In fact, it is said that in the next ten years the transformation of humanity will be greater than in the entire previous history of humanity.

In addition, we still have the same problems that civilization had 3,200 years ago: wars, inefficient governments, pandemics, famines, massive displacement of people, abandonment of traditions and growing intergenerational disconnection. Life become a meaningless slow death, with no alternative in sight. 

For our part, we added our own problems and challenges, such as destruction of the environment, climate change, acute socioeconomic inequality, technology (almost) out of control, and militarization and commercialization of space. And, of course, a planetary population far superior to what existed just over three millennia ago.

In other words, in the 12th century BC civilization collapsed because it was unable to respond to only part of the problems that we now have. Therefore, it is better to prepare ourselves not for what is going to happen, but for what is going to happen after what happens in the near future and even in the long term.

But will there be among us skilled, dedicated, and trustworthy people to sustain what remains of civilization for centuries? People who consider themselves neither divine nor gifted, but merely human, but with a variety of studies and interests? People from the most different occupations willing to do multicultural and intergenerational work?

Around 3,200 years ago, that kind of people (some of whom we know by name and have their writings) were called "ummanu", a word that has many meanings, but can be translated as "person of absolute confidence", so reliable that "ummanu" means from "nanny" to "adviser to the king."

The "ummanu" were highly educated, spoke multiple languages, traveled, and performed numerous tasks, from astronomers and historians to generals and architects. But above all they were trustworthy people with a clear long-term vision of not letting science, history and thought disappear.

Where are the "ummanu" of today? Are there any? Probably not. Perhaps Internet, mass media, and social media are too much for the “ummanu”. At the same time, it may be our responsibility to become the best possible ancestors of our distant descendants in this turbulent time of transition for humanity.

The "ummanu" knew how to connect with others, with themselves, with the universe, and with divinity. Several of their words of wisdom have come down to us (the book of Proverbs, for example). So, what advice would we give to the humanity of the 27th century? Let us assume our responsibility today.

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