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AIBU - to be worried about the future for my grand children

(118 Posts)
WishIwasyounger Sat 15-Feb-20 20:10:48

I seem to very wobbly these days about the future, what with the climate change emergency threatening our very existence, the growth of populist right wing governments, the increasing poverty gap, and the spreading of international killer dieseases such as the Coronavirus (why isn't it spelt as two words Corona Virus).
My grand children are growing up in a much worse gobal environment than I did. Please re-assure me that they'll be ok.

GrannyLaine Sat 15-Feb-20 20:16:59

I don't think anyone can reassure you that everything will be okay. But you have listed many negatives that may or may not affect your grandchildren. Why not focus on the positive things in today's world that make life better for everyone? Has there ever been a period in history where everything seemed perfect?

wildswan16 Sat 15-Feb-20 20:24:15

Every age has it's scary stuff. Some of us lived through the horrors of a World War, the atrocities of the Holocaust, etc etc. Although the coronavirus is worrying, our children no longer have to worry about polio, or smallpox, or even mumps/measles/rubella etc (all killers of the past).

I don't suppose there is a parent or grandparent who isn't concerned about the future - but I believe that has been the case since time began.

SueDonim Sat 15-Feb-20 20:26:18

I think people have always worried about their children/grandchildren’s future. The worries, be it disease for Victorian parents, wars for those in the first half of the 20th Century, nuclear war in the second half, climate change now, might vary but concerns have always been present. I think we need to have faith in the future and faith in our young people and at the same time do what we can to avert calamity.

sodapop Sat 15-Feb-20 20:30:04

Previous posters are right WishIwasyounger thus it ever was. There are a lot of things to be grateful for now and we can all try to do our bit to improve things for the future.

Hetty58 Sat 15-Feb-20 20:39:44

There are going to have to be really drastic changes to ensure any kind of decent future worldwide. We've created a ticking time-bomb with our selfish lifestyles.

Humans are adaptable, though, so we have to believe that the worst consequences can be minimised.

Governments, though, don't have our best interests at heart. Their short-term thinking will probably lead to too little, too late.

ThisLittlePiggy Sat 15-Feb-20 20:58:20

I have to agree with previous posters. I have always thought that each generation has challenging issues to deal with - wars, disease, poverty, hunger etc. There is nothing new under the sun. However, I do believe that global warming presents humanity with the most serious problem yet. We each have to be the change we want to see and place our faith in those who will come after us.

welbeck Sat 15-Feb-20 21:05:05

generally, i agree with wild above, re diseases, medical advances etc. and think of how much better dental surgery is now, compared with the horrors of childhood.
but just yesterday there was a news item about the upsurge in mumps, and the long-term problems it can cause. it has not been eradicated, and those anti-vaxxers have a lot to answer for. i think we can all try to help by challenging any we come across.
i have been wondering if i can get the MMR vaccination. i asked a few district nurses but they just looked blank. didn't seem to be aware that there are people who were born before it existed...
does anyone have any experience of having it as a grown-up.
to the OP, maybe this is some projection of personal anxiety, as we age we become more aware of our ultimate powerlessness. we cannot protect those we love, utlimately.
we cannot control most things. sometimes i dont care. then suddenly something hits me and disturbs me.
i realised im likely to die before my only relative. so he will get where i live. of course, would want him to, and any money. but then i thought further, of his wife, whom i hardly know, live far away, and her relatives, whom i have never met and probably have nothing in common with.
as they have no children, if she survived him, then eventually, these strangers, her relatives would take over where i live, and dispose of it. and that hit me somehow. though illogical. what would it matter. but its to do with the memory, the influence of others who were dear to me.

Hetty58 Sat 15-Feb-20 21:06:00

There is absolutely no way that the pollution we've created can ever be cleared.

We are eating, drinking and breathing in plastic particles all the time. We've destroyed rainforests and native habitats to the extent where the 'lungs of the world' are failing. I see no possibility of putting that right either.

rosecarmel Sat 15-Feb-20 21:11:15

I think advocacy is one way to help children understand our world without instilling them with fear- It teaches them early on to be proactive, to have healthy concerns and less worry-

rosecarmel Sat 15-Feb-20 21:21:06

I heard an advocate on the radio talking about doing away with active shooter drills in schools due to the fear the practice has instilled in the children-

Their solution is for teachers and staff to take more rigorous training, rather than subject the children to drills-

Urmstongran Sat 15-Feb-20 21:27:11

Your post was most poignant welbeck.

SueDonim Sat 15-Feb-20 21:38:57

If there’s no possibility of putting the world right, we may as well party while the Titanic sinks.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 15-Feb-20 21:56:51

SueDonim totally agree.

3dognight Sat 15-Feb-20 22:01:27

I don't think anyone can reassure you, wishiwasyoungher.
When I think of the future for my dgc I'm hopeful and alternatively resigned to doom and gloom.
I wish I could see into the future.
All we can do,is be aware of our own footprint on the planet, and all we use , eat, etc in our lives has an impact on the bigger picture.

welbeck Sat 15-Feb-20 22:02:01

thank you, Urmst.

GagaJo Sat 15-Feb-20 22:08:36

I couldn't agree more, WishIwasyounger. Other than the coronavirus. There have always been threats to health through plagues of some sort.

But all the other points? Rise of right-wing popularism, climate change, the loss of the NHS, poverty, poor quality of UK state education, rise in racism, our now political isolation outside of Europe, removal of the welfare state.

Britain is an awful place to be young in (not so great to be old in unless you're well heeled). I worry for my grandson.

rockgran Sat 15-Feb-20 22:34:49

I think a lot of our worry comes from too much information all the time. In the past people were unaware of much beyond their own village but now we see the bad news 24 hours a day. Wars and disasters have always happened but mostly we were unaware of them unless they were close to home. I believe there is much good news that we don't see and we are overloaded with doom and gloom.

Chestnut Sat 15-Feb-20 23:15:07

We all have to accept that our dear, lovely children and grandchildren will be here when we've gone and there is nothing we can do to help them in the future. But I'm sure our ancestors thought the same. In the Victorian era you were lucky if your child reached adulthood, especially if poor. You only have to look at the death registrations to see how many babies and children died, it was shocking. We are lucky that now most of us have a full life, and for that we must be thankful.

agnurse Sun 16-Feb-20 00:29:52


The usual recommendation, at least in my area, is that people born prior to a certain date are usually assumed to have had measles, mumps, and rubella in childhood and therefore would not be given the vaccine. If you're very worried you may be able to ask your provider for a titre, which is a blood test that looks at your antibody levels. If your titres are low, they can vaccinate you.

Sussexborn Sun 16-Feb-20 01:50:13

When we were first married (early 1970s) I worked with an elderly book keeper (just past retirement age) who was full of doom and gloom! When a colleague very excitedly announced her pregnancy he kept saying what a dreadful world to bring a child in to and how the world was going to hell in a handcart. My colleague was devastated. Her mother told her that there were just as many doom merchants around when she became pregnant just after WW2 had ended and unfortunately there always will be people who wallow in misery.

My maternal grandmother outlived 6 of her 10 children and my Dad’s only sibling died in her early thirties. All except one of these died from diseases that are now treatable. The one exception made a choice to carry on smoking and drinking rather than live a longer life. His life, his choice.

We do our best to reduce our carbon footprint and have confidence that our children and grandchildren will live happy and fulfilling lives. Hopefully you can try and make sure you don’t pass on your angst on to your children and grandchildren and the gloomy thoughts and feelings will fade away and become more manageable before too long.

I’ve just realised that I am nearly three years older than the elderly bookkeeper!

shock smile

M0nica Sun 16-Feb-20 08:27:52

My grandparents were born in extreme poverty, long before the welfare state, parentless they faced very hard futures, but they survived.

Their children were born just before WW1 - and, for them, we won that war at the sacrifice of 4 lives, leaving children without fathers, mothers without sons. But we survived

My parents left school as the depression started and matured into WW2. That is when they started a family. And they survived

We married and had children at the height of the Cold War. And we are hear to talk about it

Our grandchildren have been born into Global warming. And we will survive.

Life has been like that since time began, in every generation, some threat has led the doom sayers and worriers to say 'The End Is Nigh'. But it is yet to happen.

The mistake with Global Warming is that the doom merchants have taken over. No matter how much we do, it is never enough and it makes people, including me, feel helpless and hopeless. In fact much has happened that is positive.

In the UK we have reduces our emissions by 40% since 1990 and the speed of reduction is accelerating. We have end dates for the use of gas in new houses. I am sure that will be followed by a date for all replacement boilers to go electric or move to electric systems. We have an end date for the production of petrol and diesel cars. As soon as the technology is fully detailed, alternative engines, probably running on hydrogen will be used in lorries.

Domestic appliances are more efficient. People generally are more aware of the problem and are making changes in their lives.

Being helpless and hopeless makes the problem worse, because what is the point in doing anything, we are doomed.

The best way forward is to be practical and realistic. Find out all the positive things that are happening, almost without us noticing and talk about them as a way of encouraging everyone from government down to push forward do more and do what you can to live more sustainably.

Calendargirl Sun 16-Feb-20 08:43:25

When I had my daughter, nearly 46 years ago, I remember thinking how lucky I was to be having a baby when I did, with all the advantages available in the early 1970’s.
That feels like history now, with all the wonders of modern medicine and technology.
My mother must have thought the same, having her babies in the early 1950’s, compared to her own mum.
Be thankful for what we have.

craftergran Sun 16-Feb-20 08:46:34

Some positive things about the future.

Self driving transport should reduce the amount of road accidents greatly for both pedestrians and car occupants.

People will always be people and many of them do very kind things without thought of reward. So even if your worries are the rise of the far right or loss of welfare state .... there will always be people who do brave and/or kind things.

As for illnesses, there have always been these cropping up. Look at this way, we are all the best of our ancestors genetic pools because we are alive...and your grandchildren and theirs will be surviving and springing forth new generations wherever there is a possible chance. (Though I do tend to think my ancestors would have thought me dense in the extreme because I do not know how to do many of the 'everyday' things they did !!)

craftergran Sun 16-Feb-20 09:09:38

Oh and to add... human beings are good at inventing new things.

The Victorians feared we'd be up to our necks in horseshit and then along came the car.