Leadership and the Environment
233: Future Generations and Us
I've been sharing the sentiment of how people today seem to think of our times versus how people from other times would see now. I expect they'd view us with horror, disgust, and disdain.
Today's post reprises that perspective.
Here are the note I wrote that I worked from:
People say homeless live better than kings before. TVs, fly around the world, any fruit or vegetable any time of the year, music any time you want, meat without meat, etc.
They think any one from any time would prefer now to then. That we live in the most wondrous of times. Sure there are some disagreements, might not like this politician or that social problem, but materially, they think we're better than ever.
I think future generations will not envy us but look at us with horror and disgust, maybe disdain. That we chose to go to Paris all the time and destroy Earth's ability to sustain life and human society for our fleeting selfish pleasure. If they live in a world we polluted, I suspect they will wonder how we could have neglected caring for others in exchange for polluting with little to show for it but social media pictures that look like everyone else's, addiction, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, not seeing our families under the guise of seeing our families because flying separates us, otherwise we wouldn't have to fly to see them. Eating whatever we want and not caring that we destroy the land and water.
On the flipside, those of us who change, I believe they will look back on as heroes if we turn things around. If they live in a world only a little more polluted than ours because some of us, maybe you, took a stand against the prevailing winds, stood our ground, and dare I say, enjoyed our communities, connected with people around us. What does it say about your community if like most people with a certain amount of discretionary income, you say "I have to get away from here sometimes?" Annually. Probably more than annually?
Today is our chance to enjoy each other, unmitigated by material junk, craving to be elsewhere, neglecting others, and externalizing costs. If you haven't, give it a shot. Create your world. Think of something you care about, think of a way to act on it, and act, without waiting for someone to tell you what. The more you figure out the more value you'll find.
Let me know how it goes.