There is a steady flow of various media that kindles our fascination with the past. Ours is not the first generation to harbor this obsession. Each generation strengthens the pyramid of humanity with its unique contributions. Unfortunately, each generation suffers its own unique failure. The presentation of these events through historical books, movies, and television shows forms very definite opinions in the minds of each individual. There are unyielding parameters by which we judge our ancestors’ decisions. We praise the earnestness of our Founding Fathers, and condemn the parties responsible for slavery. Interestingly,we do not forsake the blemishes on our history in favor of highlighting only the success. There are as many books affronting the treatment of urban industrial workers during the turn of the century as there are praises to our wonderful accomplishments during the same period. So, if it stands to reason that we will be held to the same standard, how will future media portray our generation, and how will our descendants view our decisions?
Possibly the most dynamic part of our generation’s culture is the evolution of our ingenuity. Particularly in gardening, our abilities to engineer new and more efficient methods is possibly closely related to the necessity of producing more with less. An ever-expanding population is growing closer together at all times. With more people filling an unchanging amount of space, our revolution surely springs from necessity as well as pure inspiration. Growing for sustenance and pleasure in small spaces has become an exciting field of discovery. Vertical gardens make the most of your wall’s zero space and window farming brings the satisfaction of individual food production to the scale even an apartment-dweller can manage. We’ve also made strides in removing harmful chemicals from the production of our food. Perhaps, our generation has the most concrete understanding yet of the permanent effects that these chemicals can present. Out of necessity also comes our ideas for sustaining water. Aside from implementing basic conservation efforts, the installation of porous clay capsule systems create a zero-waste irrigation method that is also much lower maintenance than watering plants each day individually. Harvesting and repurposing rainwater is just another noteworthy advancement we may be remembered for. Extracting the full potential of each ounce of water is an undeniably powerful use of our ingenuity that will have a sure impact on the lives of those after us.
Ours is a generation compelled by beauty. We doubt it will be said that our generation lacked an understanding of art, and we have plenty of notable creative accomplishments to justify this belief. Our inspiration, as was many of our forerunners’, is nature. Nature is interwoven into our lives though designs infused by its subtle elements, artwork reflecting its timeless poise, and photography precisely documenting its grace. It’s possible this inspiration comes from our instinctive desire to conserve. As the natural world is besieged by industry and pollution, our existence as a part of it is threatened. Our appreciation for nature drives us to conserve and preserve its purity through one of the most profound ways possible: art. We create inspired by nature out of respect and fear that it may be lost to us eventually. Many of our designs have detoured from the shocking and striking character of the past and now seem to blend and complement nature harmoniously. This same appreciation seems to be the driving force behind so many of our actions, that it will likely be one of the defining characteristics of our entire generation.
Globally, the human race is a force of reckoning. The impact of our choices and behavior amassed by each individual is undeniable. We see these effects more clearly than ever before. Our astounding progress and growth has made us even aware of our potential to change our surroundings intentionally or unintentionally. This increased understanding could stem from the rapid speed at which information is shared today. Technology has made us possible to look our choices in the mirror almost instantaneously. Our incredible technology is in some ways itself responsible for the changes we have observed in our world. Ultimately, our heightened sensitivity to the consequences of our actions is probably the result of our growing population. A group of people thinking alike and behaving in a similar way will find the results of their actions on a larger scale and more immediately than the smaller population of people did a generation before them. Whatever the reason for our recent consciousness of our consequences, it is likely one of the most defining characteristics of our generations. Being more sensitive to our social, political, and environmental impact will possibly change the way we behave. However, it is comforting to know that our positive actions hold equal power over the world. The kindness we show, the beauty we protect and the help we give will hopefully amend the hurt we will inevitably cause.
It may be that we try to foresee our permanent impact in vain. Perhaps the things that daily go unnoticed are the most important of all. The small choices we make on a daily basis could easily pay into a much larger impact than we could possibly imagine. Though, maybe it can serve to shape our character if we regularly evaluate our goals and decisions. There will surely be at least one that we are remembered for, and with some consideration for the future generations, perhaps it will be a positive one.