“Earlier generations plant trees so that later generations can enjoy the shade”
I think we’re all sometimes guilty of forgetting that the world didn’t begin on the day we were born, and that it won’t end on the day we die. Remembering that we occupy just one tiny step in a chain that stretches millions of years is hard for some people, as it weakens their sense of importance and unique privilege. But the only reason we’re here is that, despite their best efforts, previous generations weren’t successful in completely destroying one another. Given our current behaviour, I don’t envy future generations. It will be like hearing that an elderly relative has died and left you a horse in their will, only to find that the horse is barely surviving on a life support machine, unable to stand and lying in its own shit.
To paraphrase comedian John Oliver, America took the baton of imperialism from Britain and is running with it quite impresively. Meanwhile, China is poised to receive the baton like a coiled spring, ready to hurtle towards armageddon. If the 21st Century is going to belong to China, then let’s just hope they take ownership with a bit more responsibility than their laowai predecessors.