Mead - Chapter 25
This final selection is the typescript of a lecture given, and later
personally edited, by Mead. During the 1970s she gave closely similar
versions of this lecture scores of times to a variety of public
audiences. She gave it so often, as she neared the end of her life,
that it stands as striking evidence of her deep concern for the future,
and of her determination to communicate her anticipations and visions
while she still had breath to give them voice. The lecture is a clear
expression of Margaret Mead's dedication to anthropology, humanism, and
activism, and hence a fine way to conclude this book.
* * *
I use the term "open-ended" to suggest that our future is neither
predetermined nor predictable: it is, rather, something which lies
within our hands, to be shaped and molded by the choices we make in
present time. In order to better understand the process of its
unfolding, we try to learn from what has happened in the past.