My entire life, at any crossroads of differing opinions when it came to how I felt, compared to how my parents felt about something I was doing, they would always say at the end of the conversation “When you have kids, you’ll understand”. But what about what we think of older people and their opinions? Have we ever stopped to think about the implications? Have we ever considered what the next few generations are going to judge us for?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. If we all follow patterns (and it sure seems like we do), then our kids and grandkids will undoubtedly judge and criticize our generation for a multitude of things that we aren’t even aware of yet. Much the same way that we judge our parents and grandparents generations for the way they lived, believed, and thought.
So I thought it might be interesting to speculate on some of the things we may be judged for in the distant (or perhaps not so distant) future.
Many of us judge our parents and grandparents generations for this, but I believe we will also be harshly judged as a whole for this one. Unfortunately, there are still large numbers of people in America who are deeply, painfully, unapologetically racist. Where our parents and grandparents were primarily judged by us for being racist towards the black population, we will be judged for our prejudice towards people of middle-eastern decent, of people of the Islamic faith, of Mexicans, and even still, of black people.
It’s a devastating and undeniable mark on us that we will carry through our existence to future generations as they look to our past (hopefully) in horror and disbelief. They will look at our savagery and see it as illogical, irrational hatred that was self-defeating and regressive, rather than progressive. We will be judged for it, and we ought to be.
2. What We Consume
Our food industry is a really bad joke. The things we have allowed to be approved to eat, and even more, what we choose to consume individually, is not only often unhealthy, but some even downright poisonous! We could be judged for allowing the mistreatment of animals who were bread for consumption, or maybe we will be judged for eating animals at all! We could be judged for allowing things like High Fructose Corn Syrup to not only be the primary sweetener in most drinks, but also that we would choose to consume it constantly even though it destroys our bodies at a remarkably fast rate.
3. Global Warming
When we could’ve been pouring resources into helping the environment, improving the quality of our air, saving the forests, keeping the water clean, and protecting our planet so it doesn’t try to destroy itself and us, we were fighting about whether or not it was even a real thing. We were shirking the responsibility of taking care of this planet we live on, insuring our grandchildren won’t have the option.
I’m sure we will be judged for this. We will be condemned for our lack of care with the resources we were given, using up all we had with no regard for consequence.
Guns. While this is an incredibly hot button issue for us these days, one hundred years from now I think they will look back on our time as the generation of people who couldn’t let a bad thing go. I think they will ask why we felt so afraid of ourselves when the real threat was bigger than guns. I think we will be looked down on for being paranoid about all the wrong things, and screaming about issues that didn’t ever matter, while the real issues plagued the world and continued to get worse. This brings me to my last point…
5. Lack Of Substance
The pendulum of time always swings one way and then the other. It will eventually reach the peak of the current swing, and inevitably go the other way. When this happens, the generation on the other end will look at us as the worst generation of human history. We will be remembered as the generation who had no substance, lacked necessary knowledge to survive in the common sense world, and were too busy looking at our tiny blue screens to realize what we were doing was killing us. We will most likely be regarded as the most destructive generation, due to our lack of empathy towards our fellow man, and our complete and total self-absorption, causing us to think we are the most important thing in this world, and no one deserves our help or attention. We will be remembered for our lack of justice: letting white rapists go free while condemning the innocent by labeling them based on the color of their skin, how much money they make, or what part of town they grew up in. We will be remembered as the generation who stopped reading books, stopped writing notes, and made the conscious decision to forsake the traditions, values, and wisdom of our forefathers in an attempt to create something new. But what we are creating won’t last. It won’t be remembered. It won’t be adopted or cherished. It will thrown away. Because we are the generation who lack substance.
A Look In The Mirror
Is there any hope for us? Is there a way for us to turn it around? Maybe.
If we take a moment to look in the mirror, we might be able to examine where our shortcomings are, and correct our missteps before we fall completely. I truly believe we have the ability and the resources to be the greatest, or the worst generation in human history. There are people who are making amazing strides and advancements in all kinds of different areas and making huge impacts on the world and the human race. But sadly it isn’t the majority. The average person today is the type of person who spends their day doing nothing productive, their spare time on their phone, and their evening on Netflix.
For the majority, Americans seem to be losing steam when it comes to productive, healthy living. We just aren’t spending our lives contributing to things that matter anymore. It’s something we have to face, admit, deal with, and move on to the bigger things. But until we deal with this, it will only get worse. The problem is, there’s no way for any particular person to tackle the issues of a generation.
It takes a majority vote to move mountains in any leadership role. The individual can’t do it alone. But the individual can climb those mountains, reach the top, and alert the majority that the mountains exist. And I guess that’s a start.