As I work with patients to correct disease, restore health, and give a foundation for their growth moving forward, I often contemplate what the world will be like in 10 years, 100 years, or 200 years. As a species, we are doing a great job of creating a perfect storm for extinction. With statistics of diseases growing exponentially, it’s only a matter of time before we will not be able to come up with enough drugs or surgeries to outsmart the diseases that will kill us. We are looking at a population that will have 1 out of every 2 children born having autism. Cancer is no longer confined to the elderly. Diabetes has no mercy. Anxiety and depression are literally causing our species to be sad, mad, feel as though we have no purpose, and unfortunately creating the tools by which we use to act badly toward one another. All of these things rising without a real change in genetics. If this were genetic, we would see MASSIVE shifts in our genome, but guess what, we haven’t seen more than 2% change since hunter gather times. That means this is all directly linked to our environment.
If we left it at that, it may not seem like it could get any more depressing!! However, we keep having children, we set our alarms every night in anticipation for tomorrow, we seek out healthcare professionals for answers to our problems. These things tell me there is hope in the human race; if there was no hope, why would you ever consider bringing a life into such doom and gloom? Why would you bother to even get up tomorrow? Why would you give a damn whether or not you could change your health? The fact that this hope for a better future exists, means that we all have a responsibility to be a part of it.
“Each generation borrows the world from the one that came before it and holds it in trust for those yet to arrive. Each generation is a steward of this great gift while it is ours.”-John Izzo
On a very simple level, we have a responsibility to treat this Earth with respect, to take what we need and nothing more. Part of our purpose, the purpose greater than yourself, is to leave this Earth better than when you arrived. Do we do this by poisoning the crops, which in turn kills our soil? Do we do this by over-prescribing antibiotics to the point of creating super-microbes that are resistant to any drug we could ever come up with? Do we do this by feeding animals inappropriately in order to mass produce cheap meat? Do we create such a shitty environment in our body that we hope our children can overcome all the epigenetic timebombs? Please tell me we do this by single-handedly creating the sickest population ever to exist while turning a blind eye that we are the ones creating it. If these are NOT what we should do to create a better future, then what are we doing?!?!
The beauty afforded in all this is that no matter what we do, the Earth and its microbes will still exist even when we have managed to destroy ourselves. The world began with single cell organisms, and it can certainly maintain its livelihood without us. If I consider purpose in life, happiness, and the greater good, I can’t help but continually ask: “What have you contributed today to leave this Earth better than when you arrived?” If we did nothing else but ask that simple question daily, we may have a fighting chance to be happy, healthy, and leave a world worth living in for future generations. After all, they will inherit the world we have borrowed from those before us. Would you want to live in the world you are creating?