What Will You Tell Your Grandchildren?


By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership

What will you tell our grandchildren when they ask you: ''what did you do?

What did you do when you knew our environment was being destroyed by our modern society and the lack of courage of companies and governments to take action to prevent climate change because of the myopic focus on profits? 

What did you do when you knew that our food supply was being poisoned by plastic and all the toxic materials ending up in our rivers, lakes and oceans?

What did you  when our insects and wild animals were being exterminated as part of the 6th mass extinction to make room for modern agriculture with all its chemical products?

What did you do when you knew that climate change was a certainty and would results in a lot of suffering for so many humans and animals?

Tell me you did something.''

As we are facing a climate disaster of a proportion we cannot even imagine, it is a question many of us ask every day, what can we do?

In facing such a dire challenge, many of our young ones inspired by Greta Thunberg choose to walk in the street in protests to force governments and companies to do something.

On the other hand, many of the adults choose to do nothing as they carry on with their day to day activities, consuming as normal, buying products from companies that contribute to the environmental crisis.

Some people are saying it is too late to do anything , that the damage is already done, that we will surely face a climate disaster.  This fatalist attitude does not help anything, certainly not to bring solutions.

I am inspired by the words of Greta Thunberg when she says that the only way to deal with a crisis is  to treat it as a crisis.

We are at the door of an environmental disaster that can threaten the lives of millions it not billions of humans and animals and this is what we should be talking about every day instead of the score of our hockey team or if we allow our teachers or policewomen to wear religious symbols. 

Preventing an environment crisis should be our top priority.  Historically, in a debate between the economy and the environment, economy always wins.  To prevent a serious environment crisis, we need to make the environment win.

We already have good role models with the Scandinavian countries taking drastic measures to protect the environment.  We need all countries to be inspired by this and follow suit.

I live in Canada, a beautiful countries with such vast open spaces of nature and with great people with good values.  According to the Barrett Values Centre, Canada is no 8th in the world for its level of consciousness, but 25th in the world for its concern for the environment.  This is surely related to the fact that we are an oil producing country, and not the cleanest oil as most of it comes fro the tar sands.  And we seem to be reluctant to let go of this intense focus on producing oil and the positive impact it has in our economy.

We are clearly in a global mess when it comes to climate change and the key question is how will we get out of this mess?

I think there is only one thing that can save us and it is a significant rise of consciousness.  A rise in consciousness in governments who would then have the courage to do what needs to be done at the risk of not being re-elected.

As rise in consciousness in business where leaders would have the courage to have more balance between short term financial results and the long term impacts of their actions and decisions.

A rise in consciousness from all citizens who would make different choices when consuming and only buy from companies that are conscious and are committed to create a promising future for the next generations.

Everyday, through our choices and actions, we are deciding on our future and the future of our grandchildren. 

it is time to rise up to the challenge and to unite our efforts to fix this mess that we have all co-created.

What will you tell your grandchildren when they ask you: ''what did you do?''