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IPFS News Link • Education: Colleges and Universities

The Trustees Have Failed

•, Techno Fog substack

I often reflect on the concept of generational responsibilities. That each generation, whether mine or yours, has the same type of supportive role to the other for the common good, although the obligations may be different. Let me put this another way:

Every generation is the caretaker of the generations that came before, and the trustee of those who will come after. 

To explain by example: a child enters this world under the care of their parents. And the parents leave this world being cared for by their children. These are general observations (and aspirations) that leave out everything in between and all those little moments that define care.

To be more specific, and to hopefully state the obvious, caring for a child isn't just a roof over their head and three meals a day. It's teaching them values, being an example for them to follow, making them feel safe. It is making a marriage work for the benefit of the children and not divorcing for the convenience of the adults. Ensuring, as best we can, their future.

Then as we age, we see our parents start to fight with the parts of their daily lives they once did with ease. Their struggle is our struggle, though the struggles are different. Each day a brush more diminished until we say goodbye.

Both stages are touched by sadness, as if a gentle hand squeezed yours. Dare I say acute melancholy. Parents watching their children slowly grow up and children watching their parents slowly grow old.

I say all that for a reason. Take the relationship of a parent and a child and put it in generational context: being a trustee of those who are here, and for those to come, means ensuring that the younger generations have the tools to build their future. The institutions established by our ancestors serve the same purpose. The common good endures when we pass.