What defines us as a generation? What are we all about? What is important to us?
Answer: The mindset that we are stewards of this planet, entrusted with its care not solely for ourselves, but for the benefit of the entire planet, all of the past, present, and future inhabitants.
As stewards, we are entrusted with the safe-keeping of all things under our stewardship. All things means this entire planet and all of the beings on this planet. We enjoy the benefits of this planet, and we allow those benefits to flow equally to all beings on this planet, and to the planet itself. And while we make the decisions to a certain extent about how best to perform this sacred duty, we are nevertheless answerable ourselves to a higher ‘power’, if you will. Because none of this is ours in the possessive sense. We are merely caretakers of this world.
This concept has religious significance as well. In many traditions man is referred to as having dominion over the planet. This term dominion traditionally meant dominion in the form of caretakers ruling for the good of all the inhabitants of the land. Indeed in many translations of the Bible, as the language was transformed again and again, certain translations favour terms such as caretaker when referring to our position on this planet.
And intuitively, this makes sense. In religious traditions, God created the planet first, and then man. Our existence is incomplete without a home to live in.
From an evolutionary perspective, we did not simply happen on this planet. We are the product of billions of years of evolution. Mind you this perspective is perfectly compatiable with religious accounts. The fact is, we are only here by the grace of life-giving and life-sustaining properties on this planet.
And yet, in general, we insist on seeing ourselves as separate from the whole. Our societies, our institutions, the way we talk and think about ourselves, the way we plan economic developments and make environmental considerations, the way we treat ourselves and others, speaks nothing of this sacred relationship we have with Mother Earth and life itself. Indeed, its as if we are living in a house that sustains us, gives us food and water and shelter, abundance and prosperity and light and a home, and we act like spoiled brats trashing the entire place without a care or regard for what happens to this beautiful jewel in the vast emptiness of space.
The way I see it, humanity has been evolving for centuries. And in this evolutionary progression, in the span of centuries, we grow up ourselves as a species. There is a birthing phase, a rearing phase, a developmental phase, and as we continue to get older, we continue to mimic what we ourselves go through individually as we age. On this spectrum we are perhaps like rebellious teenagers right now. And in this progression it is not the older generations that impart wisdom on the youth, but the other way around.
Frequently we are told as the younger generation that we must learn the harsh realities of the ‘real world’. It’s mind-boggling to some members of the older generation that we simply reject this ‘real world’ notion all together, that we refuse to settle for things the way they are, that we demand change and progress, perhaps because we, as youth, are more in tune with the natural laws of our planet than the generations that came before us, untainted by stagnation and age that befalls a person as they get older and their worldview solidifies. Indeed, change is the only constant, the only law, the only ‘real world’ we know is true. So for us to be told we must simply accept a society the way it is, is simply not good enough for us. You might as well tell us slavery is just the way things are and will never change. It’s bogus.
What’s most interesting is that while we continue to press for more change, more justice, more peace, more equality, more balance and harmony not just between ourselves but between us and the entire planet we live on, the media continues to spout out stories about millenneal snowflakes and self-entitled brats.
But there is a well-established principle not just in spirituality but also in psychology, that the way you view the world and what you see in others is actually what you see in yourself.
So while the media continues to spin its tale in favor of profits and the bottom line, we will continue to ride the wave of change and progress, to usher in a period of stewardship and growth of humanity and our planet, to pave the way for our species to grow in harmony with this world, as we were always destined to do.[ratings]