Springingtiger's Blog

Future Perfect or Imperfect



This year I will be sixty-three years old. My parents both died in their sixties, to some extent I believe, because of their lifestyle choices. However my grandmother, aunt and my uncle all lived into their nineties so longevity runs in the family. Even with our advances in medicine I thing I’d be over optimistic if I expected to live beyond one hundred and twenty. At the outside my future will be another sixty years. The advantage of this is that I am unlikely to bear the consequences of humanity’s disregard of our planet, global warming and global warfare. Perhaps I’m over optimistic, but I don’t expect the world to end before me. How I will provide for myself in old age is a little uncertain, but I am fortunate in needing and being happy with little.

So I am all right but I worry about my grandchildren and wonder what sort of world we are leaving them. I may not be to blame for wars or most pollution, however I believe we are all responsible for the world we share. The problem of living in a democracy is that we cannot blame anyone else for the ills of the country because we all have a responsibility to participate in the running of the country to a greater or lesser extent. The least we can do is to cast our vote responsibly for the greatest good of all. We live in a country and a world where there are terrible injustices and inequalities, however there is much that is wonderful in our advances in science and the arts. Side by side with terrible greed exists amazing altruism and generosity. For every cause of blame we have equally cause for praise. The world is not black and white it assumes the colours of our choices and if we are responsible there is no need to fear for the future or for our children’s future.

I do believe that that we have a duty, a responsibility, to leave our children hope for the future. Some may leave outstanding legacies, great inventions and discoveries, music, literature and art, good laws and institutions that benefit society. Most of us will lead less exalted lives, but we can all contribute to our children’s future. I don’t think there can be any greater contribution than the example we set. If we demonstrate consideration and respect for others, if we model care for our environment, if we take responsibility for our society and actively participate in it; then regardless of fame and fortune, we are providing a legacy for the future that will provide our descendants with a firm foundation upon which to build, hopefully, a better world than we have left them.

We will never all agree on the best political or religious system, we will differ on educational and economic priorities, but we can advance with mutual respect and discussion and each of us can commit to leaving the world a little better, a little more beautiful, a little kinder and more loving than the one we inherited. That is the basis of progress.



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