Yesterday I was talking to Caitlin (a fellow Grad Student at UWM) when two Undergrads approached us, and asked if they could ask us a question, and that question was “What gift would you give to the next generation?” I tried to answer something along the lines of “A better world” but I wasn’t very articulate. I thought about it a bit more, and here’s my answer.

I want to give the next generation a better world. A world with more understanding, and more knowledge. Not just information, but real knowledge. Useful data that can be used to make informed decisions. A world with less problems. Solutions to existing problems so that the future generation doesn’t have to worry about them.

I was thinking about the idea that you should leave your campground better than you found it, and stumbled upon The Boy Scout Rule (applied to software in this case, but it doesn’t matter.)

The Boy Scouts have a rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it.” If you find a mess on the ground, you clean it up regardless of who might have made the mess. You intentionally improve the environment for the next group of campers. Actually the original form of that rule, written by Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the father of scouting, was “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.”

I’d highlight “leave this world a little better than you found it.” (And yes, I marked the “try and” in the above quote as deleted because I’m trying to leave this bit of wisdom better than I found it. :)

That’s it. It should be that simple: Leave this world a little better than you found it.

One Response to “A Better World”

  1. Carol LenzieNo Gravatar says:

    Well said!

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