The state of things on the planet now is the legacy that you, your generation, and the generations before you is leaving for us and our children and their children’s children’s children. Is this what you want to be remembered by… that you went along with the status quo, the norm, the wide path leading to destruction? The narrow path and the wide path are not about morals at all. They are not about beliefs or religion or making sure that we are going to the right place after we die. By now, you are an adult, so I will speak as an adult to another adult.
Let’s talk about this destruction that the wide path, the status quo, that so many are walking leads to… Is this destruction the destruction of individuals on their individual journeys towards their individual afterlife? Or is this destruction more immediate, more horrifying, more difficult to accept because it means we are interconnected and the way we live our lives actually has an impact. Do islands of plastic in the middle of the oceans, extinction of species, genocide of peoples, and kids no longer playing outside feel like destruction? Do trillions of dollars spent on the military industrial complex to dominate the globe or the colonialism of people living here thousands of years before us sound like enough destruction? School shootings, terrorism, war crimes, narcissism run rampant to the highest office of our country’s leadership… is this destruction? The bees are dying, the birds no longer come to my feeder, and whole bodies of water are being rendered lifeless. Is this destruction? It sounds like hell to many on the receiving end. But not to the powerful. We privileged folk can project this destruction off to the afterlife, which we have no idea about, and feel good that we won’t be going there.
All of this is your legacy, the thing that you are leaving to future generations. It will be what you are remembered by. “So and so went with along with the flow. Thanks a lot to the status quo.” Is this what you want? If not, then why the hell are you not doing something different? Why continue to walk the path of destruction? Why continue to pollute, consume, and throw away? You owe everything to this Earth you continue to maim. So get yourself to gratitude. Get down on your knees, ask for forgiveness, express your thanks, and get to know the life that is moving under your sweatshop created shoes. And once you start to hear the voices of those being snuffed out and silenced, once you start to get to know all the beings in your earthly family, you might decide you want to do something different with your life.
Your legacy can be something different that maintaining the status quo. Your legacy could be that you did something different than everybody else. That you chose gratitude and actual life instead of destruction. You could give back, grow, nurture, and compost. You could set the example for all those who come after you of what it looks like to stand in the face of the coming tide, to swim upstream from the madness, to choose an alternative path than all your coworkers, family members, Insta-posters, and politicians. How tall are you going to stand? How much are you going to use your god-given voice? How loving and generous and stubborn are you going to be when everyone says, “Step in line.”
This could be your legacy… That you decided to do something different.
If you want to be respected for your age, honored for your wisdom and experience, please do live a life that is worthy of honor. Hand something down to my generation and those coming after me that is worth emulating. I know that this is what will lead me to remember you with a smile and with honor. I know that my own children will respect nothing less, even from hearing their voices at five and eight years old. Be that person. Be that person who chose a different path from the one that leads to destruction.