Friday, April 19, 2013

To The Seventh Generation

"I wish for a world that deserves my children ..." Someone sent me a clip of an interview with the late Dr. David Simon, co-founder with Deepak Chopra of the Chopra Center for Wellness in California, filmed shortly before his death not too long ago. When I heard him speak these words, I was reminded of something I was told a long time ago by a very wise medicine woman. She told me Native American children are taught that, before you speak a word or perform an action, remember that the consequences of those words or that action will be felt by the next seven generations. In other words, by our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on.

That is a very powerful thought. Would you want the words your are speaking, the thoughts you are thinking, or the actions you are taking, to be felt by those that will come after you? Is that how you would want your children and their children to remember you?

I am a grandmother. I think that fact made me more sensitive to what Dr. Simon said in that interview: "I wish for a world that deserves my children ..." Well, Dr. Simon, I wish for a world that deserves my grandchildren and after recent events, frankly, I'm not so sure it does. Most of the time I look around me and see more and more people becoming involved in issues  that will certainly affect our children and grandchildren, things such as renewable energy, organic foods, and sustainability. Then an event like the bombings at the Boston Marathon happens and you wonder what it's all for if my grandchildren's biggest fear will be whether they can safely go outside to play without someone wanting to kill them.

We are not a perfect society, but we are certainly better than this. We may have our differences and our problems, but there is no difference or problem so big that a compromise cannot be found, or an answer to a problem left unsolved. While we're busy fighting over who gets to have the guns, the bombers are having a field day. Might the problem not be with the means of destruction, but the reason for it? If we all want the same things - peace, prosperity, a safe home, a decent life, a purpose for our lives - is blowing each other up really going to get us those things, or is learning to live in harmony with everyone rowing the boat in the same direction a slightly better idea?

Not too long ago I heard a woman writer talking about her experience speaking to a Native American man at a book conference. He told her it was time for the women to step forward and take over because the men had been in charge for a long time and weren't doing too well! So I'm thinking maybe it's time that the mothers and grandmothers made the guys in charge step aside and let us get in there. We certainly couldn't do any worse and I suspect we could do a whole lot better.

Besides, I've got an even bigger reason to want to see our world return to peace ... I recently found out that I will be a great-grandmother for the first time in September (a very young and vivacious great-grandmother, mind you - emphasis on the "great")! My investment in this old world just got a whole lot bigger - we're on generation #5! I don't want to have to explain to my great-grandchild why Grammy didn't save the world for him, do you?

And so it is.