Dear Arthur and Orson,
My barefoot boys.
Today is Earth Day. A day to reflect on the state of our world, to recognise the work of environmental activists around the globe, and to renew our determination to strive for a sustainable future.
It is easy to forget sometimes how much there is still to strive for. We are so lucky here, with our woodlands and rivers, wild food and bird song. But this planet that has given us so much for so long is buckling under the weight of our unrealistic expectations. Your kinship with nature is already clear, but it’s just the start of what this precious earth needs from you.
I need to level with you: white men have a pretty awful track record when it comes to protecting the earth. Through colonialism your ancestors desecrated sacred land and ousted the people who knew its secrets. Through their relentless pursuit of capitalism they have pillaged irreplaceable resources, supplanting them with toxic waste that we will never truly be rid of. Their curriculums have wrenched from us the ease of being in the world that should be our birthright, filled the gaping hole with shiny toys that perpetuate the cycle of destruction.
I am determined to raise you to be different. Not by forcing you to be someone you’re not, but by allowing you – empowering you – to be all that you are.
Those rich white men running the show? They might be powerful, but they are not empowered. They are afraid. They only know this way of being in the world, this one which crushes others to achieve the things they have been told are important. They can see the systems they rely on crumbling around them, the planet that they have taken for granted for so long spluttering and stalling, and they have no idea what to do about it. They have power, but they don’t know how to use it. And we are all suffering as a result.
You though, you will know a different way.
You feel empathy with all living beings, and that empathy will only grow. Your blistering creativity will be nurtured and celebrated, bursting forth the new stories we need to shape our future. You know that success built on the oppression of others is no success at all. The joy you experience from being in community – and the joy you bring to others too – will hold you through the challenges that lie ahead. Our hope for a better future is not a blind one: we are sowing the seeds for revolution every single day.
I know that mothers across the globe are doing the same. No longer happy to raise their sons and daughters to be accidental actors in the destruction of the earth, they are giving them the tools they need to shape a just and sustainable tomorrow.
Collectively we will carve out a new path that will help our planet thrive.
All my love for always,
This post was inspired by Extinction Rebellion Families ‘Letters to our Children’ campaign. Click below to find out more.
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