Why fight for our future?

Because the present is nuts.

Pic by Aswas Photography

Think about all the instances in the past when people have been convinced by the ideologies of their times- when burning women because they didn’t drown was all the rage, or gassing Jews or purchasing chained-up humans or slaughtering entire communities to occupy their lands. Each of these activities has been highly popular at some point in history, while questioning them was radical and weird.

Currently, it considered normal in Australia to lock up innocent people in remote prisons for years and watch them commit suicide, one by one. It is then okay to completely abandon hundreds of these people without food or water on a hostile, foreign island. It’s fine to advertise on television against allowing certain people to get married. It is reasonable to spend public money on building enormous new coal mines, when we know that burning carbon is making our climate increasingly unliveable.

In the USA, apparently it is not unthinkable to lobby for the freedom for anyone to own and carry an automatic weapon, despite the fact that the country has far more mass shootings than any other nation on the globe.

It seems to be widely acknowledged that any imaginable atrocity can be justified in the pursuit of access to oil.

Contemporary thought can be a compelling and persuasive, but I find it more useful to think about the kind of future I would like. Instead of following present norms, why not ask how life could be better? And what will our children think about our choices?

Maybe the version of reality which we’re presently experiencing is the wet-dream of Tony Abbott, Donald Trump and the CEOs of a few multinational corporations, but I think it’s probably disappointing even for those guys. Sure, it’s been darker before, but imagine how much brighter it could be. Picture justice and equality for all, and respect for the only planet which gives us life.

After thinking and questioning, the next logical step is acting. We don’t have to accept the insanity. We can try to talk sense into our political representatives and when that fails, we can write submissions. We can put our money where our mouths are. We can block the bulldozers. We can rise up and disprove our delusional overlords. We can do whatever we are able to drag this world into the light, because if we don’t care about the future, who will?

Australian writer, environmental activist, hang-gliding assistant & former sailor, journalist & clown. Debut poetry collection available now. www.emmabriggs.net

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