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Fairness between generations

3rd May 2016Passing skills from one generation to the next

Today I sat in a hospital waiting room waiting to see a doctor.  It was a waiting room for all sorts of medical needs so the room was filled with senior citizens, time pressed workers, children and new parents with tiny babies.  Seeing tiny new babies always brings you back to your own kids and those precious first few weeks when they are so new and life lies ahead of them like a gift.

Tiny babies also make me think about the world we are bringing them into. On the bench beside me two older men bemoan the state of the country, the lack of a government, the fighting over water charges and a general inability to get on with what is important.

Recently a mother and daughter I know (thank you Robin Chase and Cameron Russell) had a hard hitting conversation about whether or not it is right for the daughter to have babies given the crazy state of the world that baby will have to live in. It was a hard conversation neither mother or daughter had fully intended to have.  But it revealed some stark truths about our world. Yes the facts are that the world is on course to be 3 degrees Celsius or more warmer than pre-industrial times and that this means extreme weather, hardship and danger for our children and grandchildren. If we have war, migration and hunger on the scale we see today how will this not be worse when we load the dice with a heating atmosphere, declining natural resources and rising inequality? Is it right to bring a tiny new innocent child into such a world?

But, the mother replied, we have always brought children into a world full of uncertainties. We have always hoped.  We have always strived to do the best for our children and to leave them better off than we were ourselves.  Children have always been born in the midst of warfare, economic recessions and the threat of global collapse. Children are hope. They are a new beginning.

That is why I am eternal optimist. People seek to do well and make a better life no matter where they live in the world. The natural tendency is to improve things as the generations progress – not to make things worse.

So it is this optimism coupled with a very healthy dose of anger and frustration that will fuel the blogs I write. Some will be rants, others laments, but all will be filled with optimism and point out the solutions that surround us if we just chose to use them.   These blogs or mini blogs will be an attempt to write down the things I usually think about writing but never have the time to commit to paper.  So they may be short through necessity – but they can all be expanded if people are interested.