“Every being who will ever live on Earth is here now. Where? In our gonads and ovaries and in our DNA,” according to the eminent radiologist Sister Rosalie Bertell.
That is a wonderful thing to contemplate. I did such an exercise in a Joanna Macy workshop last week, and had an imaginal conversation with a young girl, about 14 years of age, living 200 years into the future.
This young girl, perhaps my great, great, great granddaughter, asked me how it was that people of our current time were able to bring about the “Great Turning” from the present unjust, inequitable and unsustainable way of life to a world in which each person has value and the chance to live a decent life. Not everything was equal, but it was fair.
In my imagination, this young girl THANKED ME for my hard work!
I don’t know. We can’t know.
We can’t know what will happen, cause it has not happened yet.
But we can be committed. And, we can remain dedicated and faithful to our vision – of a thriving and just world for all.
This past March, I had the privilege to meet with several of the luminaries of the Civil Rights movement. These folks succeeded in getting the right to vote and banning segregation because they were courageous and determined. Their backs were against the wall. They were fed up and done with the abuses that they were suffering. They felt that they had no choice and therefore they had the courage to face barking dogs, fire hoses and deputized citizens with clubs ready to beat them. Do I have such courage? I don’t think so. My life is just too easy. I have too many choices.
Meeting this young girl of the future, my descendant, helps me to create my resolve. She gives me determination. I want her to experience and enjoy a thriving world in which to live. I want to be sure that she has clean water, mountain lakes, singing birds and fresh air -- just as I did as a child.
This young girl, my “imaginal descendant” is helping me to open my eyes to what is true, to feel my pain for the world, to be engaged, to get out the vote, to protest what is not just, to fight for renewable energy, to do whatever it takes to create a loving, just, and sustainable world.
I invite you to imagine your great, great grandchild.
Become friends. Have a conversation and hear from that child their appreciation for what you are doing now to create their world, our future.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Imagine meeting your great, great, great grandchild – who is living in a thriving, beautiful and just world. Enjoy the conversation!
- Read Joanna Macy & Molly Brown’s new book: Coming Back to Life.
- Look at Joanna Macy's website: www.JoannaMacy.net
- Talk with a young person about what they love about our world.