Perspective

“We have not inherited the earth from our parents;
we have borrowed it from our children.”

I don’t have any children yet, but many of my good friends have recently brought a member of a new generation into the world. I guess we are of that age.

Often when I have the time, I navel-gaze and give some thought to future generations and what history might say about us and how we now live. Some days I think we are all screwed; perhaps it would be a good thing for humans to drive themselves extinct. Why would any sane society pollute drinking water, fill the oceans with plastics or pump so many toxins into the environment that they end up in breast milk?

As supposedly intelligent animals it’s hard to understand how we’ve managed to create a society where we are so far removed from nature that we as individuals can no longer feed ourselves, where few people have enough time to stay home and raise their young, where young girls die because they don’t think they measure up to society’s idea of beauty? What on Earth are we doing? Honestly, how can we hand this life to our kids and say, “This is the best we could do!”

Photo by: JohnB49

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2 comments

  1. Mia
    Yes, we have the same thoughts too, plus more recently the lack of any real commitment by our (Australian) government and others (e.g. US) to taking real and effective action on climate change. What will future generations think of this degree of selfish short-sightedness?
    But how to make them see what they are doing?
    And the recent spate of attacks by sceptics on the nit-picking details of the climate change documents of the IPCC are being seized on by a section of the community in our area (and no doubt more widely in Australia) as “proof” that climate change is all a greenie / world government / (insert baddie of your choice) conspiracy. It is clear that a lot of people embracing this stuff are in denial, too scared to face up to the reality of what is happening.
    What to do? We fluctuate between wanting to become involved in organised action to thinking that the situation is so dire and the opposition so powerfully connected to government that the best thing is to concentrate on what we can do as individuals – both to limit the damage and to prepare for a vastly different world.
    Thanks for your thoughtful and very inspirational blog – please keep it up.

  2. It’s not the best we can do. I have a small daughter, and she is my main motivation to do much of anything or even scramble around for solutions.

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