Why didn’t your generation stop something? Why did you allow something that was unhealthy or destructive? Why did you tell us one thing when we later found out otherwise?
We all have that experience at some point. We become more aware of the world, and we feel cheated. It’s easy to blame a generation ahead of us who, from our perspective, could have stopped some of the fallout we’re dealing with. Then we find out there are things we’re allowing that get passed on to future generations. We can’t fix it all, and we’re not even aware of it all. We assume something is safe, healthy, appropriate—until we learn it’s not. We act on the information we have. Even when we strive to have the most accurate information possible, (1) we can’t know it all, and (2) more insight and experience always reveals more.
Sometimes we choose wrong. So did the generations before us. So will the generations after us. Instead of blaming each other, let’s take responsibility and admit we all live with the consequences of previous generations. We will fix some things. We will do some things better. And we will create some more problems. That’s how living among others works, whether it’s a family growing up together for years or people separated by decades and distance. How responsible each of us is creates the consequences all of us experience.
We might want to claim, “We did what we understood was best at the time.” But that doesn’t mean there’s not a better way now. Conversely, just because there’s a new way to approach something doesn’t presume it’s the best way to approach it.
We have a lot to learn from each other and our experiences and knowledge. Let’s be humble enough to listen and respect one another. Let’s spend our energy and time solving solutions not playing the blame game. It helps us all heal and grow and thrive, whether it’s global issues that affect many or community and personal issues that affect few.