Borrowing from our Children

Up until the industrial revolution, the pace of change in the world had been fairly sedate.  Since then and in particular since the end of World War II this pace accelerated and continues to accelerate.

I think upon the lifetime of Hazel, born at a time of horse and buggy and corsets; when Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson were at the height of their fame.  There was a decade long drought across Australian and the stirrings of the trade union movement with the Shearers’ Strike and the formation of the world’s first Labor government (although short-lived).  Her birth was in the midst of the constitutional conventions that would lead a few years later to Australian Federation and female emancipation.  By the time she had passed away there had been two world wars, the moon landing, the motor car, television and the beginnings of the computer age.

Through all this the constancy of family and hard work remained steady; each with their own rewards.  Life was simpler; you trusted in social institutions.  You worked the land to feed your family and the community and ultimately to leave it in a good condition for the next generation to run.  Farmers understand the concept of legacy; they understand that if you only take from the land eventually there will be no more to give.  The land needs to be nurtured.

So what will be the legacy from current generations?  Are we nurturing our land or our communities?  Or have we become so greedy that we have lost sight of our legacy?  When was the last time that our political or civic leaders were brave enough to put forward a vision for the future; beyond the next election or financial reporting cycle or their own lifetimes?

I yearn for some vision.  I want to be inspired.  I want to be engaged.  I want our grandchildren to be at the centre of our decisions.

Do we really want a coal mine in the Liverpool Plains?

“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” ― David Brower

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