General Question

ketoneus's avatar

What is this generation doing for the next?

Asked by ketoneus (1169points) April 15th, 2008

My great-grandparents’ generation gave us the beginnings of our national infrastructure (roads, bridges, railroads, utilities, etc.). My grandparents’ generation won a world war, gave us FDR-era reforms and programs, the GI Bill, and the interstate system. My parents’ generation gave us civil rights, rock & roll, and the courage to protest injustice. What are we building for future generations? True, we’re giving them the internet, but are we giving them anything that requires us to sacrifice?

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18 Answers

peedub's avatar

Hopefully, voting.

ketoneus's avatar

@peedub: I agree voting is important, but does it require any sacrifice?

gailcalled's avatar

@ketoneus; define the boundaries of “this generation.” Very thoughtful question.Thanks

In my family, we have four generations – the youngest and oldest are allowed to sleep a lot.

ketoneus's avatar

@gailcalled; good point. My definition of “this generation” is probably a bit broad. I would say people 20–50. I guess that would include young baby boomers, generation X and Y.

I’m 30, and it seems like most people in my age group (myself included) are pretty selfish.

Mtl_zack's avatar

we have done a lot of research into finding cures for many diseases. my dad, who is actually born in the fifties and his younger colleagues are developing a drug to prevent certain kinds of cancer. theres also a lot of money going to aids research, although not enough. the causes and effects of heart disease have been clarified. etc…

delirium's avatar

I’m going in to science so that I’m not a waste of the world’s recourses. I tally everything I do (drive, throw away, etc) in my head and keep it in mind that someday i’m going to make up for it all. Right now i’m indebted to the world, hopefully when I die i’ll be in ‘the green’.

I can only try to inspire those around me to do the same.

ketoneus's avatar

@delirium; great answer. Maybe our generation’s gift will be to finally realize that people should “pack out what the pack in” while they are on earth and start to curb consumption.

delirium's avatar

I sure hope so. I see so much waste going on around me and it honestly physically hurts. Its sad when people don’t realize that they’re going to have to live with the consequences of what they’re doing to the earth and the people in it.

I spent a year studying garbage dumps for a art exhibit that I did for Ohio State’s Wexner Center when I was in 12th grade. If everyone saw the intense amount of trash and waste that we’re creating unnecessarily they’d realize quite how bad it will get if we don’t start to curb ourselves.

Trustinglife's avatar

Great question, Ketoneus.
It’s an important conversation to have. And at the same time, I’m not sure if I agree with the premise of the question: that in order to make a lasting contribution, there has to be sacrifice involved. I don’t know about you, but I’m not that into sacrifice.

But I do love to contribute. (It’s why I’m here, writing, now.)

sndfreQ's avatar

Our debt, and a false sense of security that requires us to sacrifice our authenticity as true gaurdians of Democracy.

Oh but let’s not forget the Internet, and video games…

syz's avatar

Hmm. Not much in the manner of sacrifice, I’d say. Perhaps finally a realization of the impact of human development on the environment. The incredible pace of technological advancements. The loss if individual cultures (via aforementioned technology).

Ok, I’m getting depressed….I can think of gobs of negatives but few positives.

gooch's avatar

We leave behind the rising debt, self ritiousness, and selfishness. Which will lead to the end of our country. Those are the negatives.
Medical advances are the positives.

DS's avatar

We also live in a time where we learn to recycle ,re-use things.We try our best to eat healthy and hopefully this will pass on to the next generation.We give them the opportunity to learn more about more topics than in old days.

pixel95's avatar

Maybe our generation’s gift will be to finally realize that people should “pack out what the pack in” while they are on earth and start to curb consumption
spent a year studying garbage dumps for a art and design exhibit that I did for Ohio State’s Wexner Center when I was in 11th grade.

delirium's avatar


Is there a reason that part of my post was quoted?

galileogirl's avatar

I see the 30–40 somethings as very similar to the post WWI generation, live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow. Now we may be seeing the fallout from 20 years of that attitude. I think the under 25 yos will have to be more ecologically and economically responsible because of the mess they are inheriting.

derekpaperscissors's avatar

Whenever I come across questions like this, this quote always comes into my mind. WWTDD.

I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

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