Jim Wallis of Sojourners recently put out a new book, “Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street” (download the first chapter free here). He was recently on Jon Stewart, where you can see that he’s trying to start a very revolutionary, and necessary, conversation.
“I love the Native American notion that we evaluate a decision today based on their impact on the seventh generation out.”
Jim points out the need for long-term thinking in this country. I agree that we as a nation need to think not just about ME, NOW, but also about US and the generations to come.
Keith Green is quoted as saying, “This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls.” While I’m not trying to start a discussion about souls, I wonder whether this “this generation” mindset has narrowed our focus too much, particularly as Christians. Maybe in our focus on this generation (and the idea that the world’s gonna burn before the next generation arrives anyway), we’ve forgotten that, “a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”
If you would have asked me a couple years ago, I think I would have said that thinking about future generations is just an excuse to not feel responsible for this one (as I gave away my savings in a sort of vow of poverty). I don’t know what it is, maybe the fact that I’m becoming a father, but I’m beginning to consider my children, and my children’s children.
I’m beginning to think about the things I want to pass on to my children’s children (this is the hard part). I do want to pass on an inheritance, a head start into owning a house and having opportunities to grow and create (I can thank my parents for their example in these). I also want to pass on values, things like hospitality, generosity, service, love and family. And I’d also like to leave, for our children’s children, a planet that looks less like the earth in “Wall-E” and a little more like, um, like something more beautiful and green and sustainable than that.
How about you? What kinds of things do you want leave for your “children’s children”?