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What kind of world are we leaving behind?

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My parents lived before automobiles and airplanes. I was born before television and computers. My children were pre-cell phones and the internet.

My grandchildren were born into a world rampant with technology, but they lack many things that generations before them took for granted. They cannot take clean air, adequate water and ongoing sources of food for granted. They don’t have privacy or a sense of security in their communications. They worry about their personal identity and their place in the world. They don’t feel safe from bullies or bullets.

It makes me sad to see and hear so many of the young people today talk about a future they see as hopeless.

After the Parkland shooting, we heard Alfonso Calderon say, “I understand what it’s like to fear for your life.”

Birth Strikers, young people who have signed a pledge not to have children, explain their decision with statements like, “…we are hurtling toward disaster.” And “…I feel so desperately that it would be wrong bringing a life into a future that does seem ever more desolate.”

Young people all over the world have been rallying to bring attention to climate change, and Greta Thornberg, 16-year-old Swedish activist, speaking at the United Nations said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words … how dare you?”

Too young to be in a position to make real changes themselves, these bright, thoughtful people are appealing for help to those of us in the generations before them who created this world we live in. They are seeing very little results.

What have we done?

Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.