What are we hoping to pass on to the next generation

Happy New Year and I hope you have all had a good (safe) Christmas: It is appropriate that we start the New Year thinking about the next generation.

It would be easy to feel despondent when you think of all the problems that we are passing to the next generation.

  • Global warming
  • Horrible wars like Syria and Afghanistan that go on and on without end or purpose
  • Populist Politians that have no respect for truth and enable dictatorships around the world
  • Pandemics
  • The rising tide of inequality within nations and the populism that is its enabler
  • (Not even going to mention Brexit – which is small beer by comparison)

But I think the dystopian view of the future is overdone and in 30 years’ time we will look back and realise that our current fears of Armageddon were more manageable than we thought, much as we look back at the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and see that we did not all kill ourselves as seemed so likely at the time. Or go back to the dark days of the WW2 which, however terrible it was at the time, has been followed by a long period of amazing improvements in the life of most people. I can imagine a 2050 when we will have a declining world population that is enabling us to return vast areas to nature. Where robots and AI systems will enabled us to enjoy the fruits of labour, without having the unpleasantness of actually having to do any. When we will focus on our children, on the creative arts, on our health and on exploring the solar system.

At a more personal level what are the skills that you would want to pass on to the next generation that will help them to prosper. Here are my top picks for the list:-

  • Independence of mind – do not be too easily led.
  • Ability to focus on getting things done
  • Listen closely to others
  • Keep fit
  • Loyalty to other
  • Appreciate science and philosophy
  • Never think that ‘things can’t get worse’ – they can and it takes constant effort to prevent it. I have only ever seen sadness and misery grow out of the ashes of destruction, never a phoenix!

And I am sure there are many more…

Hastings Humanists – Jan 2021