Sunday, October 29, 2006

Iroquois wisdom the rest of us missed

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
- Iroquois Nation Maxim

Who in the world does that? Well, the Iroquois, for one.

Assuming one generation at 25 years, seven generations would be 175 years. There is likely something mystical about the number seven to the Iroquois, but leave that aside.

Governments today are not likely to plan ahead one generation let alone seven. Why not one generation? The reins of power would likely have changed hands a few times during that period.

People in western countries want immediate gratification, no matter what the cost in the future. What heroes of the international corporate community the heads of WorldCom and Enron were for a few short years.

Most major crimes are committed for a short term goal.

The new government of Canada abrogated its commitment to the international community by walking away from the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement its predecessor was one of the first in the world to sign. The new government has a new plan--a better plan! The new plan won't need to be evaluated until 2050, by which time all the present government representatives will be dead.

House mortgages can now run 30 to 35 years, most of the working lifespan of a young person just leaving college. Major (expensive) new vehicle purchases can have loans that run for seven or more years, longer than most people want to own the same vehicle. People who make such commitments indenture themselves voluntarily for large portions of their working lives, without giving their future much thought.

Returning to the Iroquois quotation, how would this maxim be passed along through the generations so that it could be followed? This saying, like all such statements of collected wisdom, would be passed to younger generations when they were children.

In the absence of teaching of collected wisdom to all children today, we have situations where people, in effect, enslave themselves or imprison themselves for short term gain.

No matter how many parents and grandparents pass the collected wisdom of their families down to children as they should, the messages are not reaching enough kids today.

The only way to ensure that the same wise lessons reach everyone is to include it in school curriculum.

This is where I will stop because I will otherwise be accused of promoting my book, which has the answers and solutions to these problems. Accused by those who have no interest in making the lives of the younger generation better than they had themselves. Or maybe they have a vested interest in keeping children ignorant so that they can be hoodwinked the way many of their parents have been.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to get the word out to as many as possible before our countries impoversh themselves.
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