We Can’t Ignore Our Responsibility Any Longer
As I sit here reading and re-reading Lincoln’s statement above, I can’t help but wonder who we are. Are we a generation which refuses to take responsibility for our actions?
For fifteen years, I fought to increase awareness for the degradation of our water quality throughout the country. I took classes and spent hours doing research each day. My goal was to protect our citizens from the terrible danger of toxins in our drinking and recreational waters.
I remember the months when my oldest son’s health declined at an alarming rate. The doctors couldn’t diagnose what was wrong.
I watched as the black circles under his eyes became more pronounced.
I grieved as his weight continued to drop.
The doctors finally diagnosed the problem before my son died. He had nine times the allowable limit of nitrates in his bloodstream. We were drinking city water. Just like the folks in Flint, Michigan we thought the city protected us.
Future Generations Don’t Matter
I’ll never forget the class I took hosted by the DNR and the University of Wisconsin.
One segment of the class concentrated on public awareness.
What should we say to inspire people to take up the fight with us to protect our waters?
The message was clear.
The message was unbearable.
Will We Take Responsibility?
They told us never to use the words “we need to do this to protect the waters for our children.”
Reputable studies showed that the average citizen didn’t want to hear that.
The average citizen didn’t care about the future for our kids?
The average citizen only cared about the now and how it affected them this minute. The study was shocking.
My Child Matters
I took that class over ten years ago, and I’ve thought of the lesson every day since.
If we’re not going to take responsibility for the children, who will?
Have we become a nation that is so self-centered, that the needs of our descendants don’t matter to us?
Are we so greedy that we are willing to do whatever is necessary to make a buck today, even if it destroys something in the future?
Where are the values my grandfather taught me?
How can we continue to dump toxins on our lands, air, and waters, reducing the resources necessary for our children to carry on?
The Responsibility Is Yours and Mine
I honestly don’t know how we’re going to change all this.
Yes, I remember the days in the 1990’s when my clients lost their jobs on a daily basis, while companies outsourced their jobs to other countries.
Those in control told me the reasons for the firings were to “right-size” or “down-size” for stockholder earnings. It had nothing to do with the ability of these men and women to do a good job. Some of the firms saw losses as a result of their decisions.
Good men and women lost their jobs. No one thought about how that would affect their children at the time.
How can we continue to do this?
I love my kids, and I would give my life to protect them. That means I will do anything possible to offer a good and prosperous future for them. Also, I care about my grandchildren. I worry that they will suffer loss and heartache as a result of the actions of my fellow citizens.
How can we NOT care about protecting our environment for future generations? Those generations carry our DNA.
The air I breathe affects my lungs in the summer at my home. The toxins in the lake carry in water vapor in the air, and I can’t find any argument that will change the government or the people to find a lasting and long-term solution.
It is my responsibility to leave the world better than I found it. It’s your responsibility to fight for what’s right. It’s everyone’s responsibility to protect our ground, water, and air for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
Don’t tell me that I can’t demand change for the benefit of future generations. This ridiculous argument is unacceptable. I’m confident the studies were right, but I can’t agree with them. I will not put myself first and you shouldn’t either.
We are better than this.
Be Safe. Be Loved. Pass It On!