When you think about the world we will pass on to the next generation what do you see? A world full of peace and harmony or a planet beset with conflict and a damaged environment? As with most things it is all relative, meaning that some things will always improve but some will not. Each generation viewing an earlier, or if it was possible later generation, will always pick up on the negatives. Some of that is selective memory after all.
Overall there is less poverty in the world today. That may not be true in some countries but in the west absolute poverty is scarce. Gone are the days when in kids worked down mines, walked barefoot for miles, swept chimneys or slaved in mills tied to work until they became an adult at 21. Poverty however is still a major problem, and during the 21st century the rich poor divide has increased. In some ways we are edging back into the bad old ways.
Wars especially those involving senseless hand to hand fighting seem to be waning. There are however plenty of conflicts playing out. US drones fly into countries such as Pakistan killing alleged terrorists but civilians along the way. Yet the US and Pakistan are not at war. People are angry and the hopeful days of the sixties are dead and buried. You see it on the streets on a daily basis. People angry, stressed and worried.
Advances in medical knowledge, treatments and procedures are happening at break neck speed. So much nowadays can be cured or controlled satisfactorily, which is good news but who foots the bill? We are in danger of good health going only to those with money, reverting back to previous times. Many diseases which would have been fatal years ago are treatable. The next generation will live longer lives which are pain and illness free, but will that only be true if you are wealthy?
Infant mortality is a rare occurrence in the west these days. Babies of the future will have a much better chance of an improved life. Childless couples are now able to have a family, if they desire, with the help of IVF treatments.
Class struggles are vague compared to the past but the increasing rich poor divide may force a resurgence of such divisions.
The earth, so to speak, is becoming smaller and we are all now more of a global community these days. Future generations should have even more scope to meet other nationals and live in whichever country they desire. That said concerns over migration in the last couple of years and an increased threat of terrosim could cause a more insular approach.
The technological revolution has brought many benefits and advances in equipment have lead to much less hard, labour intensive work. For example home appliances have freed the homemaker from whole days of washing or ironing. As more labour saving devices come on the market the next generation should have much more free-time.
New knowledge is perhaps one of the most positive aspects for future generations and hopefully if this is the way things go it will be brilliant.
Sadly we have already glimpsed what could be about to hit the next generation:
In many ways the writing is on the wall, as they say, and decisions that are made today will no dobut influence the future. Unfortunately we are heading towards negative changes and are not glorying in our positives. We need to get a grip but failing economies and greed will prevent positive action.
The sad fact is that how your kids are going to live and survive in the future, will be determined by what we embrace now. Will we meet the challenge?