My father was a lawyer by profession, but a gardner in soul. He understood that it takes time and patient nurturing for a seed to turn into a tree or a flower. And he did, in fact, sow hundreds if not thousands of plants in his life.
It was one of the things I loved and respected most about him – this way of thinking which infused almost everything that he did. His work. His marriage. His parenting. His politics. He believed, and lived, that not much of real import happens without long term dedication – time, effort, and nourishment.
It is an increasingly unpopular way of living.
“The great irony of our time is that even as we are living longer, we are thinking shorter” wrote anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, herself a fascinating woman and polymath.
It’s all around us.
We reward the creators of one-click buying, same-day delivery, of Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn likes with billions of dollars, even as their technologies wire our brains for short-term thinking and impatience.
We write in increasingly short…
I love this book, The Good Ancestor, by Roman Krznaric (who I don’t think is on LinkedIn – draw your own conclusion). He writes at length about the many traditions which draw on inter-generational thinking, and on 6 ways for us to bring longer-term thinking into our lives and business.
“There’s a fundamental Māori spiritual concept called “whakapapa”—a long unbroken chain of humans standing arm in arm from the beginning of time to the end of eternity. And the sun shines for just a moment on this, our time. It’s our obligation and responsibility to add to the legacy. Our first responsibility is to be a good ancestor.”
Our less than a century old capitalist and consumerist thinking has turned this thinking on its head
Worth reading, re-reading and internalising.
Buy it here to support local bookshops and women small business owners in developing countries
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