The Good Ancestor.
I love the title of Roman Krznaric’s book (which is also the title of this post) and his seven-minute TED talk, both of which are as inspiring as they are illuminating. Roman helps us see that we’ve been colonizing the future with those generations powerless over our mistakes.
We’ve been very fortunate to inherit the revolutions of our ancestors when it comes to agriculture, medicine, and so many other disciplines.
But we’ve strayed from the Native American ethos of making decisions based upon seven-generation thinking. I was particularly impressed by the Japanese communities, highlighted in Roman’s talk, who create future citizens’ local assemblies in a workshop format so that certain locals can represent the voice of those who will live there in the year 2060.
Roman suggests we need to become “time rebels,” moving away from our short-term thinking and consider developmental psychologist Erik Erikson’s counsel: “I am what survives me.” The older we get, the more we should consider the consequences of the earth we leave to our future generations.