Even though I’m not old, or old enough to constitute as a useful adult, in my youthfulness I tend to forget that those that will follow me still have a future. They will have to live in the world which we will leave behind. Do we ever think about the world that we will leave behind for our own children?

It’s often not a thought you will think of at twenty years old, but we will not always be twenty years old! I have friends with children and I often look at these kids and think, what kind of world will they be living in at my age? Most of us forget that the 13 year olds and the 3 year olds will have to live in the world we leave behind, in the same way those of us in our 20’s now live in the chaos of the historical past of our parents.

The older generation who are setting an example for us are letting us down when it comes to being environmentally conscious. Thinking mindfully is a lost sentiment among us in the world, with mindfulness having become a kind of ideal quality that only monks, yogis and the likes possess. As for the rest of us, we’re mangled up in a self-indulgent consumer culture where personal (and often trivial desires) are primary at the expense of all else.

You say, “So what? I don’t care, we’re all gonna die anyway”. This of course at the essence is not true as we do care and have such propensity to empathise, care and feel. The world seems to be getting further polarised amidst the great potential to unify. Nothing is going to change until a catastrophe hits which forces us to change not only our industrial practices, but our lenses of perception.

But my question is, why wait for a catastrophe, if we can rectify the problems right now? We have serious world issues and these should unite us. Year after year it’s getting hotter and hotter; we’re losing forests while sea levels are rising; we’re losing species; the air is getting more polluted; the oceans are being poisoned; our food quality is decreasing; and yet we relentlessly pursue economic growth.

The production cycle that is fuelled by our insatiable consumer culture is undermining our ability to conserve and maintain natural resources. We have the technology for renewable energy that would power the entire planet for years to come at little to no expense to the planet. Yet, because of our greed and the myopic need for profit, we maintain the use of fossil fuels, coal and the production of plastics.

The privileged among us enjoy the spoils of a broken food system as we continue to participate in the slaughter of billions of animals only to feed a small percentage of the population. In the process, we use up the world’s fresh water, poison the oceans, annihilate species, destroy the forests and weaken the soil, all while exacerbating world hunger.

The time has come to stop this madness and seriously transform and reform the outlook we have on reality and the systems that govern and inform our outlook of the world.

Written by Derrick Shadrack