Unfortunately, there have been quite a few times in recent human history where we have been on the brink of losing it all — a button push, phone call, or tense moment from annihilation. Much of the past year has felt like a throwback to the times of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but without the expectation that all participants understand the concept of “mutually assured destruction.”
This might be worse than the looming threat that was the Cold War; everything now just seems inevitable. Global warming, mass extinctions, and now, a baboon-ass president who might mistake the big red button with the Staples “easy” button. America has routinely made people all over the world less safe: arming death squads, terrorists groups, dictators, and causing instability for profit that has culminated in body counts in the millions.
But now, even our First World privilege of being oceans away from the misery won’t be enough. Tweets will be the end of us, or at the very least, this life and existence that we have come to know.
It seems fitting then, that in addition to bleak prospects for traditional employment, access to capital, and prospects of retirement, that there be a shift in collective focus and expectation.
True responsibility now, for my own future, and that of my children and grandchildren, means spending no more energy on trying to understand what an RRSP is. The safe investment now isn’t land, gold, or mutual bonds — it’s water filtration systems, it’s camping gear.
Your grandchildren aren’t going to be thankful that you ended up saving your money at a Credit Union. They’re going to be thankful that every cent from their family tree went into a Chevy Volt with a hood made entirely of solar panels. How else will they guarantee a life that isn’t under the thumb of the local Guzzolene Warlords in the Mad Max hellscape that will be North America? It’s not going to do much for the environment at that point, but they will be able to put distance between themselves and the irradiated bear-men and hooven-flesh-apes that roam the top crust of the dead husk we called Earth.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m being optimistic. Closer to the truth is that we go out in a flash, or a slow descent without the drama. A big bang, or Children or Men without Clive Owen. That’s probably the safest place to leave our expectations, and if we get anything better, at least we’ll have something to be grateful for.