There is a native concept of considering what the effects of decisions made today will be on seven generations into the future.
The following quotation makes a two way connection between us and future generations. Looking at each other over the generations.
The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.― Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
Similarly, can we not look back at our ancestors? We are our ancestors’ future generation looking back.
I think about this a lot these days. As stories of the remains of native children on the grounds of the institutions of forced assimilation continue. Thousands of children never returned home.
I’ve been praying about what we are doing now that future generations will see as wrong. My Spirit recoils from the likelihood there probably will not be a seventh, or sixth, or fifth generation because of the accelerating rate of environmental collapse.
What have we done?
What will we do?