Failing the Next Generation

Anxiety. © Charles Thibo

Where do you stand? Where do I stand? I just read a piece about Greta Thunberg, the Swedish girl who inspires millions of children to demonstrate against their parents’ generation. Their humble request: not to gamble away their future by actively curbing the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The vision that my generation could be accused of failing to act against climate change – be it at the personal or at the political level – I find it disturbing, distressing. Do I not wish to do anything I can to guarantee my daughter the best chances of survival? I thought I did. But I do not act accordingly.

While I was reading that newspaper article, I felt uneasy. Being judged is never very pleasant, being judged by your children even less so, and I felt the prosecutors breathing down my neck. I would like to defend myself and say: But I am doing already so much in terms of environmental protection! Still I have a nightmarish vision of a chorus of thousands of children with a mask of Greta shouting: “Not enough, not enough!” Closing in on me, pointing their fingers at me: “Not enough, not enough!”

While I was reading that newspaper article, I listened to Franz Schubert’s Four Impromptus (op. 90, D899), performed by Viviana Sofronitsky. So beautiful, so frightening, especially the first one in C minor. Doing so only increased my anxiety. It made me feel like all is lost already. It made me feel doomed to fail the next generation. Frightening. Schubert wrote these four pieces in 1827, a year before his death. Enough, enough!

© Charles Thibo

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de Chareli

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