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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Think of the children

Published: October 3, 2014
Section: Opinions

Recently, I attended a Black Keys concert at the TD Garden in Boston. This concert reminded me of two things: one, how much I love the Black Keys, and two, the significance of humanity.

It is easy to go through our daily lives, living from moment to moment and forgetting to perceive the world around us in different ways. As someone who wishes to improve the world, occasionally I find myself only thinking about what is wrong instead of why I wish to make it better. But the reason is simply this: Humanity deserves a chance. Sure, we might have our flaws, with war, violence and hatred to just name a few. However, we also provide something which, as of yet, we have not found anywhere else in the known universe. This tangible evidence is what we study of our past civilizations and what will be studied of our own. It is the art, the music, the film and the photography that truly define us as a species. There is something magical about a band of four men with instruments being able to bring together well over 15,000 people into the same place. We do this not out of a sense of obligation, but for pure, blissful enjoyment. What else could be more human?

This is why we must work to save our planet. We are not killing all life on earth, just the life that is necessary for our survival, which is the most important thing to consider. We work to save the environment, not because we see it as more important than human progress, but because it is an essential factor to human progress. Without it we would have no food, no water, no shelter and no air. To ignore that our actions perpetuate a dangerous change in climate is like ignoring the check engine light in a vehicle. Yes, you can probably drive for a while and be fine, but at some point you have to fix the car, and if you wait too long, the car may be broken beyond repair. Let us not play this game with our only planet because, if we do, we will eventually lose.

There is, however, still hope. We can change our ways. It will require a paradigm shift in the American viewpoint on the environment and resource usage. This idea is both daunting and frightening, and it leads to questions such as, “Why should I care?” and “If we’re enjoying life now, isn’t it OK?”

To answer the first question is simple: One should care because we all share the same planet, with the same resources and the same limits. So even if your bad environmental practices don’t affect you directly, they will still at some point affect your children or grandchildren. Assuming you care about how your offspring fare, this issue should be one that hits very close to home. And the answer to the second is the answer to the first. If anyone is so selfish that they truly don’t care about the effects they have on future generations, then they should seriously rethink their life choices.

Humanity is a beautiful thing. Every last one of us has breathed the same air and drank the same water as all of those who came before. We are the universe observing itself, so let us liberate those observations. See the world as it is, not how we wish it to be. Let us change the way we live now to make sure that we as a species can live in the future. Future generations should be able to go to their equivalent of a Black Keys concert. They should be able to enjoy their art, watch their films. They should be able to fall in love, go to school, observe their world and have their own children. They should be able to be human.