Petes Weekly: Is The Writing On The Wall ?

Is the writing on the walls? Every now and then I lament,

with another father, the feckless nature of modern youth. 

Fathers have done this since the time of Socrates, and I am sure that stone age men, speaking early Grunt dialect, made sounds of disgust when their kids wrote on the walls, as mine are wont to do. Sadly they did not have the huge variety of cleansing materials we now have else they would have cleaned the mess before leaving.

Each generation holds little hope for the future of mankind if their own kids are likely to be involved. And, as they grow, we realise that they’ll do OK, and maybe even better than we did.

I found myself going down this road again this week. And then I got to thinking about how good my own generation has been at adding value this past 35 years. Frankly, I am distressed.

We have eaten, smoked, or burnt everything consumable, and a bunch of things patently not meant to be eaten. We have taken it out of the ground, processed it, and thrown it away, back into the sea, on the floor, and into the sky. We have tinkered with stuff we don’t really understand. And made a few places unfit for life, in any form, for the rest of time – at least for as long as we can imagine.

In less than 100 years, and especially, this past 30, we have taken the treasure that the earth has taken billions of years to assemble, and consumed so much of it that we are running out.

It matters not that life has taken billions of years (or 6547 years, depending on which book you read) to create the billions of barrels of oil we now use each year, en route to running out sooner than we want, all so that we can do urgent stuff like go on holiday in Turkey, or fly fresh flowers from Kenya to Norway each night, or iron our shirts so that we look good when we go to the bank to borrow ever more money to buy ever more stuff.

In a world where we do not pay the real cost for all that we consume, we consume all that there is.

Instead of looking at this earth as Granny’s home, a sacred place to visit, keep clean, and leave it as we found it, we have raided her fridge, burnt her house down, and then wizzled on the smoking remains.

I don’t think there is anything our offspring could possibly do that can match what we have done. Lets give them a break and stop complaining when they don’t do anything 24/7. Maybe if we had relaxed a little there might still be some left over for them?

Which reminds me, taking a visit to the dump to discard all the tatt you have bought over the past few years is a very sobering experience. I did this yesterday and if I am to be really honest, I do not recommend it.

Peter Carruthers

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