Wednesday, April 7, 2010

7 Generations

I look around and I think, are we really okay with this?

And I must be, because look at how I live. I give my family as much privilege as we can afford, almost to the line. We buy the privlege to learn. Privilege to appreciate. Privilege to experience.  Privilege to develop our best nature. Privelege to enjoy health, leisure and comfort. Sure, I took a hit coming into non-profit and working part time, but it was carefully calculated to reduce our comfort level only so far.  And frankly, it pinches.

Imagine a world where the financial wealth-generating machine is valued equally, legislatively and socially, with other types of wealth generation that benefit society - learning, art, connection, support, care, to name a few.  I have no faith in the goodness of human nature as it stands today in successfully creating such a world, but it seems increasingly obvious to me that as long as we tolerate the desperation of poverty, our race will never evolve to a place where we really work together.

We all want the magic bullet that lets us do only what we're comfortable doing, yet solves the problems of humanity. Waiting for it makes no sense. 

I spent some time this week with a woman who is a member of our First Nations community. She told me that all decisions in her tribe are made from the perspective of how they will affect the next seven generations. All members, including children, have the right to speak. We failed to learn what our first nations had to teach us, focused instead on greed. Can we bring this wisdom forward? Can the power brokers of today ever really make decisions that will benefit humanity seven generations from now? Who has that power? Who has that courage?

If we do not just exist in the now, if our separate bodies are not all there is, our standards are woefully inadequate for any wider context. The selfishness inherent in our corporeal nature limits our capacity; worse, it jeopardizes our survival. Are we really okay with letting it have sway? Am I?