What is Our Legacy?

Have you noticed how difficult it is for humans to agree on anything? How wonderful when a couple agrees where to go for dinner or which movie to watch. How remarkable when employees share their founder’s vision. When people come together with a common goal, there is no limit in potential.

On a global scale, I am both inspired and amazed how 195 countries came together to agree on a noble cause- to protect our world by reducing carbon emissions.

Although there will always be a few attorneys, doctors and plumbers with bad intentions, the essence of most humans is goodness. Even when we slip, we justify our actions by saying we were acting in good faith.

Without any benefit, President Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. China may now become the world leader in innovation and technology to curb global warming and offer its services, expertise and products to the rest of the world, including us. From this fatal decision, we are no longer the admired pioneers who paved the way for other countries to admire. (Besides the US, only two countries in the world are not part of this movement- Syria and Nicaragua.)

In the words of President Trump in the Rose Garden on June 1, 2017, “We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”

The problem is this was not a “deal.” It was a voluntary agreement to look beyond our immediate selves to the generations that will succeed us. There was nothing to negotiate.

A person of average intelligence understands that clean air, water and energy concerns us. By pulling out of the Paris Accord, we have made it clear that we simply do not care about the future of ourselves or the rest of the world.

I do not solely blame the leader of our country. I also blame us, who voted for the author of negative rhetoric and tweets that doubted the seriousness of climate change. Instead of “shaking up” our government, our president has unsuccessfully attempted to inject ignorance into our world.

We all have lived separate lives and each of us has uniquely experienced the world. We are who we are because of these experiences and how we have perceived them. However, the decision to turn our back on ourselves and the rest of the world may one day be seen as a crime against humanity. The only answer I can give may seem haunting- our president is not intellectually capable of understanding the message he has proclaimed to the world.

I also wonder what type of legacy he wants to leave. What would he want inscribed upon his tombstone?

A more important question is- What do we want inscribed on our tombstones?

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