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Investing in tomorrow

The one who plants an oak tree, will never see it in its glory, but future generations will sit under its shade. If you look around you, there will possibly be several furniture pieces made of wood. Chances are the trees from which these were made were planted before you were born. Those who planted those trees never saw them in their glory and if they did, they were in their old age. They invested in a resource that they would never use. Teak is a beautiful wood that is harvested three hundred years after the seed is planted while pine takes about thirty years before it is harvested. Although modern research is reducing  the time in which trees are harvested, most of them take at least a decade. This is why it is said that those who plant oak trees  are unselfish people.

Many of us wouldn’t be willing to make an investment that matures when we are in the grave. Only generationally minded people are willing to invest in the third generation. We hear about leaving an inheritance for the children’s children, but what are we really doing about it. Instead we are leaving a host of problems for our children, debt, poverty, global warming and an environment we are failing to manage. If we all literally planted an oak tree, future generations would benefit from that one insignificant yet profound deed. Not only would our environment benefit, we would leave something solid for others to enjoy. If we each did something sacrificial for the next generation we could change the face of Africa and the world. Maybe future generations wouldn’t need to depend on aid and missions and debt cancellation, we could actually begin to build our own wealth and use our own resources productively.  If each of us take responsibility for our spheres of influence this change the prospects of future generation. We need  commitment to sacrifice a little so that others may enjoy in the future.

It only takes one person focused on something bigger than themselves to make a change. Insignificant people who are passionate about a cause can make a different in the world. We need more people who are willing to plant an oak tree for the next generation and do something for the benefit of the next generation. I am not an investment expert by any chance, but I do know that some investments are short term while others are long term. At the moment banking in Zimbabwe is short term and investments are short term. We think about getting a dollar and getting through the day. Tomorrow can take care of itself we believe. We have no savings, no insurance and no long term plans. We need to start thinking long term if we are to really get back on track. We need to get out of the get rich quickly mindset and begin to think long term. If we don’t plant forests for the future, we will have no resources in the future. If we don’t take care of our environment and invest in the next generation our children will pay the price. We need to give back to the next generation. Maybe investing in the future will mean foregoing the high life, but it will mean that our children’s children will grow up in a debt free Africa.

 

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