The Shade We Enjoy


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I am writing this blog today because I wrote a paper on a topic very similar to what is happening now in the states all across the country.

It is today that many people in the United States are taking time away from their jobs and busy lives to remember the American war dead. Those brave souls who have placed their lives on the line for its citizens back home, and have fallen, are honored, praised, and recognized for their selfless sacrifice.

In my paper, I spoke about posterity. Posterity, if you didn’t know, is the succeeding future generations; collectively. I used the quote from Edward Burke, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” It means we are a product of those who have come before us, and we have a moral debt to that generation who came before us to uphold the next one.

Every road we drive on, law in place, book we read, philosophy we follow, system of government we claim loyalty to, freedom we enjoy, or breath we breathe, is due to our fore-fathers and their hard work. We now hold a moral debt, or a credit needing to be paid. It is no longer a matter of choice that we uphold future generations, but an agreement with the dead and gone. This agreement, this contract, is now ours to uphold; to foster a better future.

A man, much wiser than I, said that we modern people are but “dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time,” Impressing greater significance on history and ancestors will grant us with insight on how to better raise future generations…and we have a Generational Duty to do this.

Memorial Day is a day we remember those who have paved a way for us. Whom have died so that we can live the lives we now live. I can think of no greater way to make this point, so I will let an old Greek proverb do it for me. The proverb speaks to the brave concept of men and women doing things in this world that we may never see the fruit from, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” This is incredible altruism. The clearest form of altruism is when you won’t be around to receive any reward, AND when people begin acting this way, generations are made stronger.

Today, honor the trees planted by our service men who have fallen in conflict, war, and battle. They planted them so that you can enjoy their shade.

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