The grandparents of my grandparents were around 150 years ago. The grandchildren of my grandchildren will be around in 150 years.

What was it like in 1872? What will it be like in 2172? Today is just our moment in history.

I would like to suggest we are at a difficult historical time of transition as we adapt to a planetary balance that is a bit overwhelmed by our species. Today’s future is filled with world and local problems caused by past and current human behavior.

Locally, we can see the overcrowding on our own streets and parks. On a planetary level we can see natural resources being used up and habitats destroyed by the explosion of human population.

It certainly looks like our grandchildren will have a hard time dealing with the environmental and social problems we are leaving behind.

I am watching people (and sometimes myself) become fearful and lose trust in almost everything and everybody outside of their family/tribe. That feeling of scarcity, isolation and uncertainty makes it almost impossible to work together.

Instead, people focus on protecting what they have, without regard to the common good. But more importantly, they stop thinking and working to make the future better for their descendants.

Much of the music I listen to today focuses on being happy in “this moment.” I believe in living happily in “this moment.” But for me to do that, I need to feel safe and that the future will be OK.

I have to blend the feelings of distrusting instability with open-hearted embracing of the life in the moment. Perhaps some of you also are looking for that balance and connection, which will make life enjoyable, safe and dynamic.

My parents and ancestors believed (and taught me) that they were part of history. They were halfway between the past and the future. They believed that one of life’s purposes was to make the world better for their offspring and future generations.

They took responsibility to pass on the wisdom/successes of their elders to the next generation. They wanted to protect and pass on the nature they inherited to the next generation.

Which brings me back to the 150th birthday of the city of Manitou. This year can be the year we renew our commitment to our future generations. We can have the courage to envision a future of Manitou Springs that is more than today.

We are sowing the seeds of a dynamic, optimistic future for Manitou — a future we can only guess at.

What will it be like when big gas-guzzling cars no longer clog Manitou Avenue? What will it be like on the planet when Manitou Springs and thousands of other cities have become clean energy-based and help reverse global warming?

We can act this year to rebuild a Carnegie Library that is bigger and better than what our forefathers left us. We don’t know how our grandchildren’s grandchildren will use the public space. But we do know our legacy will be to give more potential to be innovative and grow.

We can act this year to preserve and re-invent the historic Hiawatha Gardens as a large public meeting space for future generations to use as they want or may need to. Our legacy is to give future generations new potential, while passing along our town’s history.

Manitou’s 150th birthday celebration is an invitation to take a conscious rest stop on the road trip journey of history. We can take this moment to remember, hope and trust that the youth will do their part to keep Manitou and the world a good place to live, work and play.

In the meantime, let’s relax and rejoice in what our ancestors left us in this town. Let’s create connections to our neighbors and make living here pretty cool.

The Day of Friendship community potluck on Monday, Aug. 1, will be nurturing to body and soul and community. It can create an inter-connection with each other that builds acceptance, success and understanding. See you there.

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