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What about stewardship?

User Thread
 90yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that coberst is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
What about stewardship?
What about stewardship?

Stewardship-- the conducting, supervising, or managing of something... the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care...

Stewardship is a word used often in the Bible and was at one time used often in England. It was used in England because the youth of the landed aristocracy was taught that they were responsible for the care of the family properties in such a way that they passed on to the next generation an inheritance equal to but more appropriately larger than that received. Each generation was not the owner but was the steward for the family estates. Any individual who squandered the inheritance was a traitor to the family.

I am inclined to think that each human generation must consider itself as the steward of the earth and therefore must make available to the succeeding generations an inheritance undiminished to that received.

In this context what does "careful and responsible management" mean? I would say that there are two things that must be begun to make the whole process feasible. The first is that the public must be convinced that it is a responsible caretaker and not an owner and secondly the public must be provided with an acceptable standard whereby it can judge how each major issue affects the accomplishment of the overall task. This is an ongoing forever responsibility for every nation but for the purpose of discussion I am going to speak about it as localized to the US.

Selfishness and greed are fundamental components of human nature. How does a nation cause its people to temper this nature when the payoff goes not to the generation presently in charge but to generations yet to come in the very distant future? Generations too far removed to be encompassed by the evolved biological impulse to care for ones kin.

How is it possible to cause a man or woman to have the same concern for a generation five times removed as that man or woman has for their own progeny?

I suspect it is not possible, but it does seem to me to be necessary to accomplish the task of stewardship.

The questions I would like to ask everyone are:

Do you agree that the acceptance of stewardship responsibility for this planet is vitally important?

Do you have a different idea whereby this stewardship might develop?

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 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I totally agree with you about the concept of stewardship.

The hardest part, as you know, would be to convince a world of greedy humans who can't see past their own short lifespan that it is in their interests to take care of the world they live in.

It's similar to renting a house. You are happy that when you move in the windows aren't broken and the plumbing isn't leaking. It's only fair you leave the house for the next tenant in decent working order.

I think that at this time, the people who hold any ability to convince the masses to think like this are celebrities. At least in western culture.

The masses hang off every word a celebrity says and take interest in every thing a celebrity does- no mater how mundane.

If more than one celebrity goes on a particular diet, then the masses do too. If more than one teenage celebrity gets pregnant the number of teenage pregnancies goes up. If more than one celebrity gets into a certain cult or religion interest in that cult or religion quadruples. If more then one celebrity tells you that their life has changed because of Pilates workouts then the masses take up Pilates.

Imagine if a few of them were to take up this ideal and push it to the masses. In a short time it would be the norm to feel the way you and I do. And I am sure the next time there was an election, politicians would be giving policies and making commitments to affect a change. And maybe drafting plans to implement a stewardship of the planet.

In the 80's celebrities convinced the world to donate to save people starving in Africa. Africans had always starved, and it was the norm for people to ignore it. But after Band Aid every person in my school was donating their lunch money on a regular basis to "Feed the World." In a few short months the norm had changed, from it being okay to turn an uncaring eye on the plight of people in another continent, (those you cannot see or relate to, just like future generations.) to it being frowned upon to not care.

Another more recent example. With World Aid (or whatever it was called.) the public had been persuaded to actually care about global warming. People have known about global warming for decades. But no one has ever cared about it. In the last major election in Australia, it wasn't a popular issue. But in this years election, (the same year global warming has gone from a boring "scientist problem" to a cool hip crusade.) one of the key issues is global warming.

Now the major political parties have to have a policy on global warming and have to make commitments to changing our greenhouse emissions, or they will not get into power.

All this shows how easily led the masses are. They are like a herd. As long as everyone else is moving in a certain direction, they will too.

So I myself feel, (though it wont happen, as modern celebrities are too interested in their own shallow lives.) if the global consciousness were to become aware, and then care about maintaining the planet for our children's children- that is where it would happen first.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Chained Wings is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Having said all that... I really dont have alot of optimism for it taking hold.

1. As I mentioned, the celebrities that people seem to fixate on tend to be the ones who dont think too much so the masses themselves dont have to think too much. It's easier to be interested in someone whose life consists of having sex and taking drugs as it doesn't tax your brain. I dont call them 'the great moronic masses' for nothing.

So there is little chance someone who thinks about the world and cares about the world catching the public's attention.

2. If such a celebrity or group of celebrities were to have the same views as you and I, and were to push this crusade forward, there is still only a slim chance they would be able to sway the masses to their way of thinking. Most "causes" dont tend to catch on and it seems it is only chance which dictates what makes tomorrows papers.

3. If the idea of stewardship were to become popular, then there are the political barriers that need to be taken into consideration. Politicians will do what the masses want if there is enough pressure put on them. But only then. And if its TOTALLY against their own self interests (like stopping globalization.) then all the protest rallies, Band Aids and public opinion in the world wont make them take on the idea of stewardship and turn it into something concrete with laws and amendments and all that great political stuff that will ensure it can be enforced.

4. If it caught on with the masses and then the politicians, how much of a change would there need to be made to the way we live to make your idea work?

Look at the war on terrorism. When the attacks on 911 occurred there was such a strong public sentiment to catch 'those bastards who did it!' When America first sent troops into Afghanistan (although many protested) the general feeling from where I was sitting, was that anyone who stood in the way was a terrorist too. I remember Bush talking about Americas 'eternal vigilance' and how they would never falter, no matter how many years it took to root out terrorism... now just a few years on, and people have gotten bored with the war and the general consensus is that it was a bad move.

This shows that when something drags on, or is too hard, what seems like a 'worthy cause' at the time to the masses won't last more than a few years. (Though Im not saying the war in Afghanistan or Iraq was a worthy cause.)

5. Empires have come and gone. Great bloodlines which have lasted for generations have all ended in one single year.

As you said, families of landed aristocracy have kept the family fortune for generations and to squander it was to be a traitor. But squandering does happen. Empires do fall.

So even if such an idea were to take root and actually thrive despite all I have mentioned above. In one single generation the 'family fortune' could be squandered.

There is alot more Id like to say on the matter, but I dont have time to go into it today. But there are other ways that the idea of stewardship could become reality and could succeed.

Look at the Christianity. When it began, it was against the law. The followers of Christianity, including Jesus, were persecuted and tortured and almost purged to the brink of extinction. Yet for some reason, it managed to not only survive, it prospered, and at one point the Christian religion was the most influential power in the western world.

Im sure all those who believe in Christianity will tell you it did so because God willed it too. But it could also have been because it deals in the uncertainty of what happens to us when we die. It gives people a set of ideals and a belief system which is generally good when not misinterpreted, misused or abused for personal gain. (Love thy neighbor. live in peace.) And it gives people meaning in their lives where there previously was none. Which is something humans need.

So looking at the way the bible has been handed down through the centuries and how a once outlawed religion which meant death to follow has managed to outlast dynasties and empires may be another way for the idea of stewardship to take hold and actually last.

If the concept of stewardship could be incorporated into peoples belief systems, so that they actually felt a deep obligation and felt there was some benefit to themselves rather than just those that would come after them who they dont know or care about - it could actually work.

Such a pity there isn't a 'way' or code of thinking which has the power of religion, but is universal. That does not have to bribe or blackmail or scare people into believing it. Which lasts for centuries and gives no benefit to the believer other than the knowledge they are doing a good deed for others. Which does not need the power of empires, dynasties or governments to be enforced. And which has the ability to make our lives better as soon as we begin to live by it... now there's a code which Id be willing to follow. Someone should get to creating that.

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"When I was a child I flew! Then as an adult- I watched others soar."
 51yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Sorceress is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
all too many well intentioned ideologies have ended in cults and dictatorships and lets face it - most religions.

Anyway thought this poem I wrote was apropriate to this thread...

Generation 2000

What of my children's future
in the next millennium?
Will they love and nurture the Earth
as its true custodians?
Do they want to clean up this planet
and achieve world peace?
If they don't want the bomb they can ban it,
after all the Earth's only on lease.

Is it too much to ask to achieve such goals
in only a thousand years?
Generation 2000 has many roles to play
it doesn't have time for tears.
Will they struggle to get by as wars rage on?
Will children continue to die?
Will world leaders continue to con?

It is hard to be optimistic
when a bomb extinguishes a baby's life
just because two countrymen can't be realistic
or agree to differ peacefully
to stop the trouble and strife.

As the planet starts to heat up
and the forests are daily consumed
will the ozone's protection just suddenly stop
and will the planting of trees be resumed ?
Will the greenhouse effect become a reality?
Will the Earth suffer another flood?
What will become of humanity?
Will the Earth become an ocean of blood?
The future is just around the corner,
it is approaching fast,
and there is no one to warn her
that the present will soon be the past.

The governments spend too much money
on space flights and weapons of war,
when their sights should be set on the Earth's worries
and its children knocking on death's door.
How can they live such wealthy lives
knowing that half the world suffers?
They continue to lie, cheat, take bribes
and use their own people as buffers.

So lets get our lives in perspective
and help our children achieve
a new generation of humanity,
irrespective of colour and creed.
Lets give this planet an overhaul
so that our children can say,
'Our parents loved us enough to call
a halt to the fear and dismay.'

Let the future be colourful,
Let the future be bright,
Let the future be wonderful
and bring us into the light.


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""Each child holds the world in an open hand to mould it into any shape they choose.""
What about stewardship?
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