Probably people always feel that they are living in a time of transition, but we can hardly be mistaken perhaps in thinking that this is an era of particularly momentous change, rapid and proceeding at an ever quickening rate.
A second characteristic of our time is the prevalence of nationalism. This is still spreading, affecting new communities, more peripheral regions and so-called backward peoples.
These wars appear also to have given its death blow to colonialism and to imperialism in its colonial form, under which weaker peoples were treated as possessions to be economically exploited. At least we hope that such colonialism is on the way out.
The First World War, and especially the latest one, largely swept away what was left in Europe of feudalism and of feudal landlords, especially in Poland, Hungary, and the South East generally.
The question whether the long effort to put an end to war can succeed without another major convulsion challenges not only our minds but our sense of responsibility.
Another cause of change, one less noticeable but fundamental, is the modern growth of population closely connected with scientific and medical discoveries. It is interesting that the United Nations has set up a special Commission to study this question.
Those who are rooted in the depths that are eternal and unchangeable and who rely on unshakeable principles, face change full of courage, courage based on faith.
As to judging our own time, and thereby gaining some basis for a judgment of future possibilities, we are doubtless not only too close to it to appraise it but too much formed by it and enclosed within it to do so.
It is natural to try to understand one's own time and to seek to analyse the forces that move it.
Technology gives us the facilities that lessen the barriers of time and distance - the telegraph and cable, the telephone, radio, and the rest.
We have lived through the flood time of fascism and of the nazism which ran its meteoric course at a cost to mankind in suffering and waste beyond all computation.
Industrialization based on machinery, already referred to as a characteristic of our age, is but one aspect of the revolution that is being wrought by technology.
Men who are scandalized at the lack of freedom in Russia do not ask themselves how real is liberty among the poor, the weak, and the ignorant in capitalist society.
A third ideal that has made its way in the modern world is reliance on reason, especially reason disciplined and enriched by modern science. An eternal basis of human intercommunication is reason.
There is a great interest in comparative religion and a desire to understand faiths other than our own and even to experiment with exotic cults.