One of the things that is coming to fore as I an working through the small introduction to Anglo-Saxon history which has turned into its own research project is the inability of individuals to properly assess the actual impact of current events in their time.
Time and time again in my reading, events (mostly battles in this case) occur and are considered to be of major importance. In some cases they are: the battle of Mons Badonicus (circa 500 A.D.) bought the Romano-British the breathing space of a generation, but also concentrated the invading Angles, Saxons, and Jutes into a small area that became totally Germanized unlike most of the other barbarian invasions of Western Europe at the time, which flowed over and through the population, becoming a thin elite class which was subsumed into the existing population.
Or the battle of Brunanburh (we are not quite there yet) in 937 A.D., in which the King of The English engaged the Kings of Strathclyde, Scotland, and the Norse Kingdom of Ireland. In the literature at the time, it was felt to be "The Deciding Battle of England" - yet a little over a hundred years later, the entire Anglo-Saxon kingdom and its ruling class were overthrown by Norman invaders.
One could argue that the Concert of Europe (1815) may not have fully played out until World War 1 (1914-1918), or World War I did not fully play out until World War II (1939-1945) or that any of the events that were current even five years ago have played out to their logical conclusions. In my lifetime I have seen the end of the Cold War, but still live within the framework set up by it; the final implications of it may not be fully visible until well after my death.
There are events that really do change things, of course: the defeat of the Vikings by Alfred the Great at the Battle of Ethandun (Edington) in 878 A.D. really did change the course of history (had Alfred lost, the likelihood any Anglo-Saxon kingdom would have survived would have been much smaller). The defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 really did change Western (and Eastern) Europe. The Russian Revolution of 1917 really did change everything about the Russian state as did the Chinese Revolution in 1949. Sometimes one can look an event and say very clearly, "This changes things".
We are awash in media and news these days: 24/7/365 updates, if one wants them. And one can spend their time running through nothing but news cycle after news cycle, only to discover after the fact that the news cycle had absolutely no impact on things whereas some event that was not even on one's radar turns out to be a significant development.
It is a hard balance to hold, this looking forward and back and to the sides all at the same time while trying to keep one's own life on track and moving forward towards the plans one has set in place. The only advice I can constantly remind myself of is that while events local, national, and international have the ability to impact my life, the only thing I can truly control is my own reactions, both emotional and practical actions.
If history teaches one anything, it is that the world has always been a troubled place. And as to the impact of current events on the future, one can look to that paragon of wisdom, Yoda: "Always in motion is the future. Difficult to see."
We can see the immediate impact of events, but can only see their long term impacts as we live through our days, twenty-four hours at a time. That, too, has not changed since before the time that history was recorded and "the future" became a thing.