December 12, 2012

Be A Good Ancestor

We are consuming future generation's global inheritance

Are we being good ancestors when we consume more than our fair share, while endangering the survival of future generations in the process?

Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, thought that our greatest responsibility was to be good ancestors. Put another way, Native 1st Nations tell us we should be thinking 7 generations ahead as a guide to all our decision making.

You would think that people with kids (and most people have children) would be ruled by this line of forward thinking. After all, how can you leave an all important genetic legacy if you consume the planet to ashes, thus jeopardizing the survival of your spawn?

Leaving a non-toxic planet for our kids does not seem to be a priority, for if it were, we would be toning down our still-accelerating decimation of nature.

Not only should we want to live more lightly so our kids can live at all, but we should be thinking about our kids children, and their children, and theirs... 7 generations and beyond. The way things are going we will be lucky to get just a few more generations before homo sapiens becomes yet another species to fall during the current global extinction event.

With our global population mushrooming, and in a time of peak-everything, a great way to be a good ancestor is to reduce consumption, live more simply, and leave something behind for the good of those yet to come.

If we made being a good ancestor our greatest priority and #1 responsibility, it would profoundly affect our expectations, and how we behave as consumers. We would realize that we do not own this world, but are only borrowing for a short while before returning it to our children.

Will the planet they receive make them think of us as good ancestors?


  1. I just wanted to tell you that this post was specially inspiring. Regards from Panama City, Panama.

    1. Thanks for reading, Michelle. We enjoyed visiting your blog. What a great many beautiful places you have lived.


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