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“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek proverb

untitled2Each generation, at some point, bemoans the world they have inherited from the previous generation. With their whole lives ahead of them, they vow to leave a better world for the next generation.

Then life happens.

The drive to provide for, and protect, their immediate tribe becomes priority. They  block out the injustices in the rest of the world, not entirely, but where these issues intersect their own survival – they choose to protect themselves.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.

This is how we have survived for tens of thousands of years.

We’re not really wired to think about 10, 50 or 100 years from now.

But perhaps in our old age, with our lives mostly behind us, we are freed up to think about future generations.

Perhaps then we are willing to plant the tree whose shade we will never personally enjoy.

I wonder what we could learn and what plans we would conceive if we listened to the idealistic dreams of the young and tempered them with the life-time wisdom of the aged.