Insularity

I feel that the world is becoming more insular, exactly at the time when it needs to do the opposite.  Okay, I get it.  This may be the rambling of someone wishing for the good old days when they probably weren’t that good in the first place.  I mean we live in the most prosperous time in history, right?  Give me a minute to explain myself.  I was thinking about this because a friend of mine is pregnant and has a cute adorable 2 year old.  She’s talking about what she wants for her child, you know, the best day care, get her piano lessons, maybe dance lessons.  She should know at least two languages.  To be honest, these are all good things.  In today’s day and age, the least you can do for your kids is equip them for the world that is out there, but I think that is my point.

 

There are all these environmental systems in decline.  We are swimming in debt.  Resources are being ravaged to maintain our standard of living.  There are a lot of signs that the next generation is going to have a very hard time and their quality of life may in fact be worse than ours.  This is somewhat troubling.  Our medical and social security systems are going to eventually go bankrupt, and we keep piling up the debt so that we can maintain our standard of living (how insane is it that our interest rate is almost 0?  Think about it. (there is a lot of incentive to take from the future to enjoy what we want now)).  Yet with all this, I hear and read that we should continue to lower taxes and increase spending.  We should not worry about the possible effects of climate change.  We continue to consume, A LOT.  We keep buying more and more things.  Nature always strives toward balance, and we are off balance.  My point here is that we continue to fight and compete to grab a piece of the pie.  We are educating and setting up our kids to fight so they can grab a piece too.  However, if we’re not careful, the pie will start shrinking, and we’ll have less to fight over.

 

I’m not saying that it’s dumb to want the best for your children or for yourself.  I am suggesting that what we think of as the best may not be.  This is going to sound incredibly cheesy, but we should be trying to expand the pie.  So, rather than being insular, we should be working on more things around us, to which we do not directly benefit, because we all indirectly benefit.  I owe a lot to the people who came before me, who built this system before I was even born.  My education was paid for, in large part, by people who I don’t know, and my success at work (and my standard of living) is dependent on the education of others.  I was in Vancouver, and read something that stuck with me, about soldiers who gave their lives for people they didn’t know, because it was their duty to do so.  I think we need to keep working for others, as much as, if not more, than ourselves.  It is our duty.

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