Live several generations ahead
What makes one go into posterity? It’s often because one has been a visionary and has been able to live and think like the following generations. A thinker becomes famous because his words resonate with the consciousness of younger people who claim him. This symbiosis creates a complicity through time that transcends the age barrier. It is up to you to choose to live as the man or woman of yesterday or tomorrow. There is no today, the present is only a battle between the world of yesterday and tomorrow. If you ignore this fact, it is because you most certainly live in the world of yesterday.
Whether you like it or not, the passage of time offers moral progress if you look at the big picture. Of course, on an individual level, humanity can behave in immoral or depraved ways. Nevertheless, if we look carefully at the changes over the centuries, we can see civilizational improvements such as the end of slavery (in its great majority), greater equality between men and women, the recognition of non-majority sexual identities, the end of brutal imperialism (other forms of imperialism still exist today), humanism gradually putting an end to secular racism etc.
If one wishes to take part in the “great march of progress”, it is necessary to reflect on what the future milestones of these civilizational improvements might be. There are two questions for today’s generations: the consequences of our way of life on nature and the fate of animals. These two themes are linked, since animals are part of nature, even though they are domesticated, and animal exploitation leads to catastrophic effects on the environment.
A person truly goes down in history because his or her work has served to improve the condition of future generations through the ideas he or she has helped to spread. If we want to be benevolent towards future generations, our work must contribute to propagating the ideas that allow future generations to live better while living ourselves in accordance with those ideas.
It is clear that an individual who denies the impact of man on the destruction of nature while at the same time failing to recognize the dignity to which the animal world is entitled, cannot define himself as progressive. The man or woman of the future lives as tomorrow by integrating the new prerequisites of the civilizational march and may perhaps be able to leave his or her name or face in the hearts of future generations.