A Child Questions Us from the Future

Grandpa, did you know it was happening?
08/10/2009 05:12am ET | Updated November 17, 2011
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

A conversation in the year 2050 between a boy and his grandfather

Grandpa, did you know it was happening?

Well, sort of. There was news about it, but it didn't seem too real.

How did it feel when you couldn't eat the fish anymore?

Well that was hard. We never thought that would happen.

Didn't they warn you?

Not really. I guess some tried to, but not in a big way. Not like on television, or even much in the newspapers. You had to really want to know, I guess. People just didn't care that much. We were pretty busy then. Pretty caught up in our own lives.

What about the forests? Didn't you know how much we needed them, just to breathe?

People never thought about that connection, son. We needed that timber. Companies needed it for their business. That's what was important back then. Business.

But why would you let them take away everything we needed? Why did you let them make all those stupid things out of plastic? Why didn't you save some of the oil for us?

I swear, we never thought we'd use it up. We weren't trained to think about the future. No one taught us how to think. We did the best we could do, day by day.

I thought you were smart. You had your own business, didn't you?


If you were so smart, why didn't you stop them from ruining all the water? Didn't you ever think I might want to swim like you used to?

It's not like that.

Oh yes it is. If you were so smart you would have known what was happening. But you didn't care. It's your fault.

It's not my fault, son. There were millions of us here. Everyone was to blame.

Then why didn't they stop it? Why did they ruin things for us? Why didn't you care enough to do something? Why? Why? WHY?

an excerpt from The Art of Original Thinking-The Making of a Thought Leader by JanPhillips