Is our legacy joyful or joyless?
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Our footprints are our legacy.
Our joyful footprints… The positive paths we walk through life and the good choices we make.
And our joyless footprints… The pollution we create, the ways we uphold systems of destruction.
Everyday, I imagine what my legacy will be.
E V E R Y D A Y.
Because I can not look away from the future we are heading towards.
My joyful legacy:
Grows food in the garden.
Provides native plants for pollinators.
Votes for people and planet.
MY LEGACY IS JOY.
But, my legacy isn’t all joyful. And I think about the joylessness my legacy creates too.
The carbon I contribute.
The food I have left uneaten.
The water I’ve wasted.
The toxic chemicals I’ve helped to pollute.
The plastic I leave behind.
The clothes I’ve barely worn.
The energy I waste.
The power systems I uphold.
While I do what I can to bring some joy to my legacy, I will also leave behind joylessness. This is the legacy all of us in the global north. We create joylessness among the joy.
Despite this, we — “average people” — have joyless legacies that are dwarfed by the rich and again dwarfed by polluting industries.
The legacy of the rich is astronomical and disproportionate emissions, wealth gaps that plunge people further into poverty and inequality.
The legacy of the most polluting industries, predominantly oil and gas companies, is climate change, environmental destruction and the stealing of health.
Today on Earth Day, and every day, we must continue working towards a world in which our legacies are joyful and impactful, where those most accountable are held under the light of scrutiny for the joylessness they create.
Our legacy needs to be joy in its most essential forms; freedom, equality, environmental benefit.
What is your legacy? How joyful is it and how does it contribute to joylessness? How can we balance joy and joylessness to reduce the deficit?
As always, embrace joy while holding disruptions of joy accountable for the joylessness they create.