The Fourth Generation

The North American Indians had a thing about generations.

Any action they took were required to not adversely affect seven generations from where they were, and they saw themselves always as the fourth generation-shaped by the three generations before them, and shaping the three generations in front of them.

I think that’s a wonderful way of looking at things, and one we might wish to consider.

Those of us around today have been shaped by three past generations with an obsession with “the market”; taking actions to promote growth and short term returns, based on a consumer attitude, that we now realise will create real challenges for the three following us.

It’s our responsibility. We cannot outsource it, nor find a “solution” in the way we pop a pill for a headache. “Solutions” have an increasingly short half life. They rarely address systemic root issues.

We have to live the change, and take the hits, all the time holding ourselves accountable to those of seven generations on who we will never meet.