What Would You Say To People In The Future?

If you had a chance to convey a message to future generations, what would you say? What would you hope to communicate?

Speaking to the past is easy. For instance, here at Intellectual Roundtable, we previously asked the question: What advice would you give your past self?

Such a question is relatively common in our society, and it is easy to see why. Even though to your past self, the future is a mystery, your present self knows what happens. You have the advantage of knowing how it all turns out.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are you waiting for?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Are science and religion compatible?’


However, to your present self, the future is unknown, perhaps even unknowable. So what do you say to the unknown?

You might even have some idea of what to tell yourself a decade on (or more). But what about someone a hundred, five hundred, or a thousand years from now? What information would you try to convey? How is it different from sending a message in the present moment, to the other side of the world?

Of course, we have a version of talking through time already. After all, isn’t that what writers do? What is, say, the novel Frankenstein, if it is not Mary Shelley taking to us from the 1800s? Was Homer speaking to people more than a thousand years later when he wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey?

So the technology exists to send a message forward in time. How would you use it? What would you say to people in the future?

Related questions: Past, present, or future? How do you plan for the future? What is time? What do we owe the future? Will the future be better than the present?

2 thoughts on “What Would You Say To People In The Future?”

  1. – Sorry. I assume my generation did not leave the world in a good place for you regarding climate change.
    – Understand power. Highly-concentrated power is the opposite of democracy. This is not good.
    – Spend time in nature to connect with what sustains your future.
    – Use all your senses to experience the real (not virtual) world as often as possible.
    – Eat real food, not the highly-processed food-like products the food industrialists would have you eat. Real food comes from nature. Not only is it healthier for you, but it also contributes to a healthier environment.

  2. I assume that writers don’t specifically write for the future. It doesn’t seem likely that Shakespeare was trying to speak to a world five hundred years (or more) after his.

    However, what writers do does provide a plan forward here. Specifically, writers for the most part tell stories about their own time. They can’t help it. Even science fiction authors, supposedly writing about the future themselves, are hopelessly influenced by the world around them.

    So my solution? Tell the future about today. Tell them what life is like now — what hopes, fears, challenges, emotions, and thoughts you have. Let the future beings, whatever and however they might exist, draw their own conclusions. Let them find the universal in the experiences you share.

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