Reality Bites by James A. Norton

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This is what you’re doing…and this is what I want you to do.

So every week I either reminisce about my past or I bitch and moan – about my past. They say we are all products of
our environment growing up, and that statement is true for the most part. When I was younger, I swore I would never act a certain way and now that I’m older, I can definitely see how my behavior in some instances is directly related to people, places and events that happened when I was a child.

It’s that last statement that scares the Hell out of me right now – because I just found out I am going to be a grandfather. Now I would normally think I was entirely too young to be a grandparent, but, my kids were born when I was in my early 20’s. And this child will be born when my daughter is 20 years old, so that means I will be able to spend lots of time with my grandchild. That makes me happy.

The part that doesn’t make me happy is reflecting on people being a product of their environment when they are young. That isn’t to say I think my daughter and her husband will have a negative impact on their own child, but, it’s the rest of the members of this family, on both sides, that have me worrying. I see traits in me that were definitely a product of events that happened in my childhood – I even see traits in my kids that can definitely be traced back to events and people my children were exposed to when they were kids.

I have already made it clear that I weep for this generation – well how about the next one after that? It’s easy to sit back and try to be witty and state that it won’t matter because we won’t be here, but what does that statement actually say about us as supposed responsible adults and members of the human race. Nothing good, that’s for sure.

We drive SUVs and barely make an attempt to recycle – but when will it be enough to create really long-term planetary sustainability? Not to get too nerdy here, but, I think about how tough it is for me and people my age right here and now in 2014 – and start to shudder at the thought of how hard life with be economically in 20-30 years, how much of the planet’s resources will be depleted then, what kinds of geo-political nightmares will be happening then?

Maybe I am thinking too much, maybe not enough, who knows. All I do know is that when this grandchild of mine is born, I am going to be very conscious about how I interact with him/her and be very aware of how I will influence the development of that child. That’s probably one of the biggest things we right now can do to help the future get out of its own way and give our children and grandchildren a fighting chance someday. And am I not turtley enough for the turtle club? #GMK

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