The lessons provided to today's youth by todays' adults
I'm guilty of many of the behaviors I criticize, or at least was guilty of them at some point in my life; I think that's a large part of why seeing such behavior in others stands out to me so glaringly. And when I hear the excuses used to justify not changing or improving I feel a deep anger that reflects embarrassment in realizing I said similar things at one point in time with the same arrogant ignorance.
I think the most common behavior that bothers me the most is the attempt to find flaws in individuals or to point at past mistakes in history as justifications not to make improvements today. No one is perfect, certainly myself included, but a much grater sin than not being perfect is an unwillingness to make personal improvements which is manifested in preaching that because someone else isn't perfect you don't have to pursue perfection yourself.
So here we are today when adults belittle a 16 year-old student, taking any desperate angle they can come up with in order to deflect the flaws and truths she has cast a spotlight on. Any excuse not to improve, any excuse not to change. "This is how I was raised therefore it's what I'm going to stick with, not matter what you say."
A world where environmentalists aren't allowed to protest Big Oil destroying an entire forest because they, as an individuals, purchased something made with petroleum products. A world where someone will point out that you purchased one item wrapped in plastic as an excuse to continue to buy, in bulk, single use plastics. A world in which Christians claim that the God who created the earth ultimately intended for us human, created in his image, to destroy his creations as a part of his plan for us. I've even had people that like killing sharks try to discredit my attempts to save sharks by pointing out my camera equipment; indicating that I embrace the destructive technology of modern humans therefore I no longer have the right to criticize any aspect of human behavior.
Greta Thunberg says she was robbed of her childhood and future. She's not wrong. Hell, I'm an adult and I feel like I've been robbed of the future I imagined for myself so I can only imagine what it feels like to grow up that way. Of course, bad things were taking place back when I was growing up, but it felt like there was a chance to improve those things rather than an overwhelming sense of doom. Perhaps it was already just an illusion, but I at least felt hope for the future thanks in part to the in individual behavior of adults picking up trash or even spanking children for being "litterbugs". Spanking might be controversial, but I'd rather see that than what I see today, which is adults telling their kids it's OK to leave their trash behind because (choose one):
A.) Their hands are full. B.) There's already trash on the ground C.) Someone else will pick it up D.) It's decomposable.
As an adult there are a myriad of different, and much more enjoyable career paths that I'd like to take, and indeed I pursued several of them over the years. But I couldn't find peace in them; lurking in the back of my mind was always a sense that I needed to be doing something more meaningful, something that would help put my soul at ease because I was at least attempting to make improvements rather than just closing my eyes and enjoying what I could while I could.
My time as an environmental documentarian has shown me that our failure in caring for the planet extends far beyond laziness and a lack of responsibility for our own trash disposal. No, it is our very moral fiber that has been corrupted. We are calloused to a point that seems almost inconceivable. When I show people footage of a turtle slowing drowning in a fish net, they say, "Yeah, but how many does that happen to?" When a thousand whales beach themselves from underwater noise pollution they say, "Yeah, but is it an endangered species?" When an endangered species is projected to go extinct in the next year because of human activity they say, "Human life over animal life." When they see the Amazon burning they say, "That's not where my beef comes from". When I show them footage of the suffering of dairy calves and the foolishness of adult humans consuming bovine milk produced for bovine babies they say, "Sorry, that's how I was raised therefore I am sticking with it no matter what you show me."
There's always an excuse and those excuses are almost always to justify reasons NOT to improve; reasons NOT to change. How UNinspiring is that!? No wonder the younger generations seem to lack empathy for the planet. No wonder they spend half their waking hours in the false reality technology provides for them to disappear into. The real world is full of adults who would rather criticize a little girl who took a stand against greedy corporations rather than join her in the fight. What she's doing is brave and difficult. It's much easier to point fingers rather than pursue personal change.
#greta #GretaThunberg #climatechange #conservative #republican #christian #trump #change #convenience #watchinghumans #convenience
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About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.