‘Everything old is new again.’  The 20th century was an amazing time of growth and invention and development for a large portion of human society.  We continued the industrial revolution and created societies that are no longer communal through the use of fossil fuels and automobiles, created what is called the suburbs, created industries that specialize in controlling natural resources such as food and food production, water, combustibles such as wood/coal/fossil fuels, currency and every other aspect of society, and helped to foster consumptive societies where the difference between have and have not is almost as distinct as feudal Europe.

But growth is not something that continues indefinitely.  Children don’t continue growing inches per year for their entire lifetime or they would be dozens of feet tall when they reached 90+.  Same with animals.  The same with most plants as well.  Growth occurs until maturation and then discontinues while the organism performs its function, then there is decay and possibly new growth and new life.  There is a cycle or rhythm to things which naturally occurs.  It is my own opinion that the growth arc has completed itself and now we are seeing, not the demise of specialization and industrialization, but the maturation of our societies.  The growth has stopped and now it is time to be who we have become and participate in the function that we were formed for.

I see this occurring through the rediscovery of ancient wisdom.  People in India are responding to water issues by redeveloping ancient water catchment systems.  Low tech, highly efficient, and available to everyone.  Micro-loan programs are breaking out in countries all over the world to help the impoverished create sustainable lives that do not include abject poverty or semi-slavery and early death.  Agronomists and farmers around the world are rediscovering sustainable farming practices and applying them to their lands and succeeding.  The barter system and slow food are finding a place in Western European culture once again.

I believe that we are not coming to the end times, but coming to the mature times.  I look forward to 2012 to see what the 99% will do here at home and abroad as well as to see what we will choose to make of ourselves in this new era of maturity.  I hope it’s wonderous.