Last week the call went out for a new futuristic look at the lakes area.
No one answered.
But, as with life, there is always another chance to come through in the clutch. So while the family gathers this weekend to watch football playoff games, perhaps a commercial moment could be used not just to run for the snacks. Perhaps envisioning the future could be conversation fodder for a couple of minutes. It would mean not looking at wireless NFL commercials, but then most of those -- while good -- are repeats anyway.
Consider for a moment the year 2025.
If there are young people in the living room, or maybe around the kitchen table for the pregame meal, what do they think their lives will be like. Will they be involved in government? Will their work places resemble what is the known world today? Will their environment be cleaner? Will their children's children find interstellar traffic as easy to imagine as the interstate variety?
We all wonder about the future. It's a mix of fantasy and conjecture. From the nearly frivolous about regrowing hair to eliminating wrinkles to the serious, talking about the future is similar mining productive ground. Beyond a changed lifestyle there are questions of ethics. If a child's attributes from gender to IQ can be determined while still in the womb by scientific means, should it?
Perhaps gene therapy will end diseases that plague today's world. There may be a certain cure for cancer.
After a visit with a small group of 7-year-olds in northeast Brainerd, it is easy to muse about endless possibilities. And to envy the energy level, the imagination, as well as the youth.
So whether those children are at home or not, whether conversation before football means interpreting your spouse's grunts, or if conversation means connecting with friends, it is worthwhile.
-- What is the most significant action that could be taken to make this a better place?
-- Looking to the next century, what is the one characteristic of this area that you would like to see stay the same?
Even if readers do not respond to this newspaper in an active way for an upcoming section on the future, perhaps the question alone will get a conversation floating.
And that may be all a purveyor of information can hope for -- to get the conversation started. Even on such an important football weekend as this. Go Dolphins. And, of course, Vikings.
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