Generation Gaps, The Catch-Up Game …

Even from the very beginning, if you are religious,  Eve deceived Adam and yet here we are centuries later and men are still chasing after women like the first apple ended well for us. Nothing has changed really. Since then we’ve been through the industrialisation, The great depression, two world wars and the cold war where capitalism prevailed against socialism. Then there was the atomic bomb that levelled a Japanese city but again here we are still meddling with nuclear power. So delicate is the issue that world war three is mentioned everytime a joke is make adbout nuclear weaponry.  As a species then, human beings are not really the fastest of learners, not even from experience but wouldn’t we achieve more and progress further and faster if we learned more from past generations’ mistakes? Poverty, climate-change, unstable economies, shrinking resources and a growing list of animals and plants on the verge of extinction as well as tyrannies in the modern world are some of the challenges we face today that could have been averted by learning from previous generations.

We could, as usual, make excuses for our past and present actions but the reality is that even without sufficient knowledge, even without our technology we could have averted many of the challenges we face today a long time ago. Challenges which have now become crisis’! Our reliance on fossil fuels for example is more because so many have invested so much into oil despite it having an adverse impact on the future of the world. The previous generations relied on oil and rather than correct that mistake immediately we are stalling so that we can reap rewards now. The same goes for our unstable economies. The Great Depression has seemingly not taught us anything otherwise the economic meltdown between 2008 and the present would not have happened or at least not in the same way. Rather than immediately take steps to correct the mistakes of previous generations, we are content to run the cause. We are always playing catch-up.

The truth is we’ve suppressed our inherent moral compass as humans to satisfy our greed and pursuit of more. More profits to indulge ourselves, provide more comfort etc. Without giving adequate thought to the far future. To the current generation’s credit, there are some efforts to preserve the world for future generations but it all seems to be a case of too little too late. In any case we are still not looking far enough into the future and definitely not looking far back into our history for answers.

Indigenous people in Latin America and certainly Africa, our ancestors, had a certain way of living that we could still learn from today. Its our responsibility as people to look into that if we are to have any hope of salvaging what remains of the world, and life as we know it.

Writer: Katlego Modipane    Photographer: Khumbelo Makungo