A Pledge to Future Generations is a literary branch from Dr. Allen Tough’s book; Crucial Questions About the Future. Dr. Tough, a professor of future studies at the University of Toronto wrote his book in 1991. He was selected by the global community to address his writings at the world’s largest conference on future generations in Kyoto Japan in November of 1994.
Cordial greetings, from future generations, to everyone who is attending The First Global Future Generations Kyoto Forum. We are the people of the future–your children’s generation, and many generations even further into the future. Even though we live in a century that is very different from yours, we too are people, vigorously engaged in a wide variety of activities and projects, just as you are. Just like you, we work, play, talk, eat, laugh, hope, cry, sing, learn, worship, think, and wonder. We are very pleased that you care so deeply about the well-being of future generations. That is what we want most from you: your caring for us, your concern for our well-being, your willingness to take our needs as seriously as you take your own needs. From many decades in the future, we send you our gratitude, our admiration, and our love.
– Dr. Allen Tough
1. To care about the well-being of future generations. Their needs are just important as those of today.
We must always when making decisions or choices of great importance focus on how it will affect our future generations. The future generations are the youth of today, our future children, our children’s future children, and so on. Their decisions and actions will greatly influence the well-being of all of us who live after they do. So we must greatly focus on how we care for our future generations and most importantly create an enlightening environment so that they mature into responsible educated adults. But why are these children’s decisions so vital to the establishment of a better tomorrow? Because they are our tomorrow and they will be the determining factor that either makes or breaks our global environment.
2. To play my part in halting the deterioration of our environment and support efforts to achieve a sustainable relationship with our planet.
We must be proactive in our limited years on this planet and aim to make it a better place to live. The responsibility for the deterioration of our planet rests in the hands of our hands, and our hands only. We created the problem and it is high time that we pull together as a strong global community and fix it, or at least help the situation. To do this we must focus on the little things that we as individuals may do to reduce global environmental deterioration. Avoid actions that would diminish the ozone layer or increase global warming; like driving a car. Instead, walk, ride a bike, take public transport, or car pool to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road. Global assistance starts with us, the individual, and we must do everything in our power to contribute to the efforts.
3. To understand and support humanity’s urgent need to halt population growth in all countries.
We, as an entire global community are overproducing at an alarming rate. The global population increases by an estimated 95 million people a year, our population growth is way out of hand. But we must ask ourselves why the world is like this. The use of contraceptive is not of great concern to the peoples in Asia, Africa, and the many third world countries in the world. These women in these countries do not have any methods of contraceptives, most are uneducated and believe that their only purpose in life is to procreate, and because of this a startling 1/3 of the infant population is unwanted. Money is greatly needed in these countries to distribute these contraceptives. As a first step, we must educate not only our future generations, but ourselves about the atrocious overpopulation of the world, we also must make sure population control moves to the top of our government’s policies.
4. To speak up against all wars, terrorism, organized violence, and arms manufacturing.
Wars, terrorism, organized violence, and arms manufacturing are all occurring in the world today. These terrible actions greatly affect the development of our future generations. What they see going on in the world could change their perceptions and their decision makings of the future. We must help to make the violence stop, the future generations need a diplomatic environment to develop into upstanding global citizens that will maintain and encourage that peace to create a better global future.
Support anti-violence campaigns, campaigns for the reduction of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, voice your values and opinions to your government in hopes that they may change their foreign policies.
These may help to protect and preserve the earth for future generations.
5. To support local organizations, political parties, government policies, and international organizations that foster these principles.
Stand out, make your voice heard, and be proactive. These are the many institutions of our global and national community that have a power to change policies in the world. To facilitate this politically global change that may help to protect and preserve the earth for future generations we must be proactive in our efforts. Make a better change for the future, get out there and do it; rallies, lobbying, and peaceful protest or demonstration all can contribute to the influence and persuasion of today’s political leaders.
What could I do to help protect and preserve the earth for future generations?
1. I could help prevent the environmental deterioration by riding my bike, taking the TTC, or composting to reduce unnecessary waist.
2. I could contribute to the struggling issue of global overpopulation by addressing the issue of teen pregnancies first in my school. Then I could talk to my local MPP in hopes that s/he may heed my concern about the issue. Promote the use of contraceptives in my community.
3. I could create clubs or small organizations in my school that discuss the issues of war, terrorism, violence, or arms manufacturing. We could talk about the issues that are affecting the global community and deduce some solutions that we feel could help. We could lobby our local government to increase awareness of these issues. We could demonstrate against unnecessary war and violence.
4. I could create a newsletter that addresses global issues and distribute it around my school. It would explain that these issues affect us as the youth of today and they will affect the youth of tomorrow. That may increase their interest and intrigue in the issues that plague our world today.
5. I could educate myself in the issues of today’s world. Read the newspaper, global/political periodicals, or watch the “6 o’clock” news to contribute to my own personal knowledge. This will most importantly help me to understand the tumultuous world of today, as I am a part of the future generation.
Treat it as a real message, or treat it as the sort of message that future generations would send to us if they could. Either way, the important thing is for us to understand and care about the fundamental needs of all the people who will come after us in the ever-flowing river of human history. Thoughtfully reading this book is one powerful way to get into their shoes and grasp their perspective. Then too, as we look back at our own era through their eyes, we gain a fresh view of our own values, choices, and impact.