Time and maturity are supposed to bring wisdom, but in my case, and those of many another I would suggest, the most successful adoption is avoidance, the ability to side step, dodge, bypass, circumvent the most obvious bear traps that ethical dilemmas are inclined to set within our path. So much easier to shirk responsibility, to avoid the need to confront obvious errors and inconsiderations that have continually flourished uncontrolled under our so easily misdirected gaze.
Mine is hardly the first or last generation to avoid moral imperatives, indeed we were taught the skill at some length at our educators feet, that no compromise was ever necessary when the needs of human kind called were in question, no matter immediate consequence or long-term derogatory effect.
Till the midst of the twentieth century no fowl had come home to roost, the globe was still mankind’s plaything, seemingly indestructible, impervious, self-sustaining, a holy miracle of blessed rejuvenation. Twas only when the smoke cleared at the end of the terrible decades of carbon destruction that marked the pre nuclear industrial revolution that the first inkling of exactly what the true ecological toll of sudden and uncontrolled modernization had been.
Self-control, with ingrained stupidity, has ever been homo sapiens greatest weakness, the inability to say no, that enough is enough, excess is wasteful, greed the ultimate sin, balance between positive and negative the only real successful solution. I am reminded of the situationally apt well-worn music hall joke. ‘Too late, too late, his betrothed cried, waving her previously well concealed wooden leg in the air.’
I kowtow with great affection to the young stalwarts trying with rugged determination to reign in the charging beast, that still heads with alarming certainty towards an assuredly unfortunate end. Naturally, I now regret wholeheartedly that I and my generation did not do more, sooner, when finally awoken from our Rip Van Winkle like slumber, having wasted a further two or three decades that in reality were not really available.
I am inclined to wonder if twenty-twenty was indeed the twilight of we the new gods.