Consider yourself in ten years. What’ll you be like? Will you be as funny, kind, or wise as you are now? Now, as you’re thinking about yourself in 2024, consider one more thing- how connected do you feel to this version of yourself? How real does she or he feel?
I know, it’s hard enough to imagine 2024, especially considering that in 2004 Lance Armstrong was winning his 6th Tour de France, a gallon of gas cost around $2, Colin Powell was resigning from his position as Secretary of State, and thefacebook.com was just being launched. Who knows what 2024 will look like, but regardless of how sci-fi it might be- how strong does your connection to your future self feel?
It’s a weird question. The obvious answer is very connected- “it’s me after all, how could I be anything but connected to myself?” But think about how hard it is to keep new year’s resolutions or how easy it is to procrastinate. These issues, which we all face, have lead psychologists and neuroscientists to explore the relationship between our present and future selves. The converging opinion is that this connection is more tenuous than we initially assume. But, it’s also widely agreed that we can do things to strengthen the connection. And perhaps religion is one of those things. But before speculating about how to fix the connection, it’s worth reviewing the research that says it’s in need of fixing in the first place.