In the heady times of the late 1960s and early 1970s, many were certain that by 2020, the world would be dramatically different.
In Changing Images of Man, the landmark study by Oliver Markley and Willis Harmon (1982), they noticed a marked shift in the image of what it meant to be human. This image, they argued, was leading, with reality soon or eventually to catch up. Wrote Markley and Harmon, “When images ‘lead’ social development they are anticipatory, and provide direction for social change. When images are in this relation to society, they exert what Polak (1973) has termed a ‘magnetic pull’ toward the future (Polak, 1973). By their attractiveness and meaning they reinforce each movement which takes the society toward them, and thus they influence the social decisions which will bring them to realization” (Markley et al., 1982). The emerging image of the future, they argued was focused on: ecology and sustainability; gender equity and partnership; spirituality; a transformed post-material economic system that was focused on persons, nature, purpose as well as prosperity, a quadruple bottom line if you will. As well, as humans went to the space, they saw the Earth without national boundaries, without religious boundaries – environment became primary (Connor, 2009). Imagine, John Lennon suggested, “ there’s no countries … no religion too … no possession.” (Lennon, n.d). We were to move from materialistic man focused on work and the factory to the self-realized human, living for the greater good.[…]