What happened to ‘Contentment’?

When I imagine the future for my unborn grandchildren I hope for a few things to happen in their lifetime;

1) We stop killing our planet.

I was asked recently at what point I thought we (i.e. the human race) would need to relocate to another planet. 50 years? 100 years. My response was a rather depressing “what, so we can just trash that planet too? We’re not enlightened enough to be allowed out yet.” I’m of the opinion that we have probably already gone too far down the road of greenhouse gas build up and that Earth is going to be incapable of supporting our current numbers within a short time period. But that doesn’t mean we can’t limit the damage with a more global focus on working together to turn it around.

2) We stop competing with each other and share nicely. 

Comparing humanity to the human life cycle shows that we are very firmly still in our first few days of nursery school. We don’t want to share the toys or our lunch. We want the play leaders undivided attention and we will fight to retain our place in the pecking order.

It’s ridiculous.

As we come up to 2020, why does such a big proportion of the planet not have enough food, water, sanitation and access to medicine? Why do we tolerate corruption, money grabbing, food wastage, inequality and profiteering from basic necessities?

You think I’m just referring to third world countries? Look around you.

3) We stop using religion as a weapon. 

We all need to accept that, whatever our own religion might teach, in our society today there is not just “one God”. We are capable of living together and respecting each other’s views, we just choose not to.

4) We stop fighting over borders.

I know that this is all about resources. If we shared more readily, distributed necessities equally and respected each other’s traditional heritage, there wouldn’t be any need for borders and boundaries. Migration would be more evenly spread and we could trade across the planet rather than aligning ourselves to ‘allies’ and perpetuating a ‘them and us’ dynamic.

I know what you’re thinking… naive…unachievable…unrealistic… you’re right. Here in the UK, we can’t even fund our children equally in their education. So, while we bury our heads in the sand; while our politicians prioritise tearing established relationships apart rather than working to promote equality and wider involvement; and while we continue to hoard resources; we will never grow as a civilisation and we should never expand beyond this planet.

Let’s promote contentment

I think we should start working together to promote contentment with what we need to survive, rather than the constant chasing of unnecessary tat. We should be sharing what we have, respecting each other, limiting the damage of our collective footprint and enjoying our short time here knowing that we leave a sustainable planet to our successors.

Grandchildren aside however, one thing keeps me positive…Earth was here for a long time before we evolved and when we become extinct (as we inevitably will), Earth will then take the opportunity to put herself right again.

She doesn’t need us.

It is us that needs her.

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