for the next generation(s)

I received the following praise earlier today:

when I see you and Basa fighting the good fight.

It immediately made me appreciate the next generation. The next generation of people, not just the people who will follow me as successors in previous jobs or children, but of many other sorts. The people who will serve on boards and as volunteers in places that I have. The person who will till this soil in future years will be influenced by what attention or neglect I show this soil that I inhabit, for this brief window of time. The home that I reside in can be better or worse depending on my actions and treatment of the people and things around me.

I was raised with the adage of leave something better than you found it. Being alive in the final 22 years of the 20th Century, I was exposed to much of what had run amok in the behaviors and habits of western civilization. Attitudes and lifestyles that were stuck in a notion of separateness from all other beings, and divorced from the earth. My hunch is that Mother Earth never sought a divorce from humankind, so it was a one-sided choice (and this is where my metaphor expires). Yet it seems to me that the earth has this unconditional love and infinite patience to embrace us, whenever we come around to recognize that ours is a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are fundamentally different when we see this instead of pretending that we, humans, are better alone.

This attention of the investment of my actions, words and choices cannot be nourished through  consumerism. When I walk into a mall or browse a webpage catalog, my actions and choices on this day will not have some impact cascading into the future. In fact, the severe limit of shopping and buying is that it will more likely have an adverse impact on future generations than be an investment in the good, the well of future generations.

This consideration of future generations is another form of mindfulness.

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