Originating with the Iroquois, Seventh Generation Thinking is the idea that when we make a decision, we give thought to how it affects the seventh generation from now – roughly 150 years or so. It helps us avoid the potential traps in short-term thinking.
150 years is a long time, and feels a bit vague – but I know quite a lot about my Great-Great-Grandfather, Thomas. I live in the same town as he did. Recently, a friend was redecorating and found Thomas’ name scrawled on his living room wall, with the date 27 July 1883!
My family tree looks like this:
1️⃣ Great-Great-Grandfather Thomas
2️⃣ Great-Grandfather Vincent [I grew up in a house he built]
3️⃣ Grandpa Norman
4️⃣ David, my dad
6️⃣ Elkie, my niece
7️⃣ Elkie’s [as yet unborn] daughter – let’s call her Hope
The line from Thomas to Hope is tangible to me – I remember Vincent’s wife Maud [my Great-Grandmother], and with a bit of luck I’ll get to meet Hope.
There are decisions Thomas made that will affect Hope – and likely her children too.
And there are decisions we make that will impact future generations.
What world do we want to pass on to them?