When you are making your decisions for your family and your business do you have the vision, wisdom, fortitude, and insight to both look back 7 generations and forward seven? If not then maybe you should take a page out of our world’s indigenous ancestor’s playbook. Ancient Iroquois philosophy reasoned that the decisions you make today should be sustainable seven generations into the future. The Anishinaabeg have a perspective that calls upon people to see themselves at a central point when making decisions both looking back seven generations and ahead seven generations.
How many of us currently rely on this type of thoughtful, studious, measured approach to our decision-making? What if you could pause for a moment and think about all the possible positive consequences you could create with this kind of decision-making perspective. I mean, you would first have to consider your many generations of family members. Where they came from, what type of lives they lead, what sacrifices they had to endure in order for you to be sitting at your desk, reading this post on your digital device?
When you think about your future ancestors looking back on your life and the decisions you made or didn’t make and the impact of your collective involvement or lack thereof with our current world challenges.
Will they be thankful for your thoughtful involved decision-making? Will they see you as a key part of a truly visionary generation who knew the biggest, most urgent challenges and did something about them? Will they see that you played your part and did what you could do? Did you influence not only your own behavior but also the behavior of your friends, family members, and the community at large?
The most pressing world issues, collected from the WEF annual survey released Sept 2017, which was given to more than 31,000 18-to-35-year-olds across 186 countries.
10. Lack of economic opportunity and employment (12.1%)
9. Safety/security/wellbeing (14.1%)
8. Lack of education (15.9%)
7. Food and water security (18.2%)
6. Government accountability and transparency/corruption (22.7%)
5. Religious conflicts (23.9%)
4. Poverty (29.2%)
3. Inequality (income, discrimination) (30.8%)
2. Large-scale conflict/wars (38.9%)
1. Climate change/destruction of nature (48.8%)
Pick one or maybe two of these pressing challenges that most resonate with you and hopefully there’s something you can do to help? Had we used the Iroquois/Anishinaabeg philosophy seven generations ago maybe we would have eliminated some of this list by now?
As a husband and a father of three, I am only just beginning to understand the difficulty of thinking so far ahead and behind. Now, I’ve got to get busy on my family tree and expanding my visionary capacities.