Dear Children of the World,
As I sit to write to you the only word that I can think of is sorry. The world that we are leaving for you isn't the world that we grew up in. Maybe that's how our parents' generation felt like when we were growing up. My heart aches when I see so much sadness and hatred in the world. I always felt like we could change things; maybe even make the world a better place, but maybe not.
Yes I understand that from the beginning of time people have suffered and children have been targets of atrocities, but I do feel somewhat responsible. I feel responsible for bringing my own children into a world that is in turmoil, filled with hatred and discrimination. When I watch the news I see Syrian children washing up ashore while they run away from their country, American children suffering from hunger and homelessness, Indian children being sold in to sex trafficking, just to name a few atrocities. Today everywhere I look I feel like the world is a much worse place then it was when I grew up.
Here are some reasons why I am ashamed of the world I'm leaving behind
• We are killing animals. Many of them will be extinct by the time you grow up.
• So many forests and trees are being cut down. According to The Guardian, 6,000 square miles of forest are lost every year as valuable trees are removed in the Amazon rainforest.
• Little hand-held devices have taken over real discussions. We open our hearts to our online communities and post everything on social media, yet we distance ourselves from our real families.
• Growing up we hardly had toys; we played outside in the sun. We made up all sorts of games, we climbed trees, ran barefoot in the grass and loved nature, and today we buy electronics for you and you play for hours at a time. Today you hardly go out and play instead you are glued to your devices
• We haven't been able to solve the issue of racism and discrimination; it has actually gotten worse since we were growing up.
• Terrorism has become a household word.
• Growing up I always saw men in uniform as heroes, today you see more of police brutality in the media than police helping people.
• Violence has become a way of life for you -- the games, the movies even animated movies are filled with violence.
• Technology has become more prevalent in our lives than a hug, a kind word or a real conversation. If a friend is hurting we send a text or an email, and that seems to be enough, yet we still need the human touch.
• Reality TV is setting the standards of our society; we idolize the Kardashians and question the real heroes.
• Someone who is racist and discriminatory towards blacks, Muslims and people with disabilities is the front runner for the Republican Party. This is just proof that we are letting you know that it's okay to treat whoever you want disrespectfully and that people who are not like you can be laughed at. Basically teaching you that bullying is okay.
There will be many days where you will blame us, the generation before you, for this mess. Yes we are somewhat responsible for the world today, however we also never knew any better. The generations before us made our world more beautiful and also less humane. Some of us have tried to be change makers, trailblazers and peace keepers, but it seems like we are always overpowered by the anger and hatred of the wrong doers. Yes there were times when we felt like we didn't impact the world but believe me we did and so will you. In a world full of hate, anger and discrimination if you can make even one person's heart smile, you have made a positive change in the world.
So always remember that love IS the answer in the bad times and good. Yes maybe the world is more complicated than it used to be but love and compassion will overcome any obstacle. I don't mean romantic love, but unconditional love for humanity is what will save every generation. I hope you do a better job with our Mother Earth than my generation did!
But when you do feel hopeless and like your world is falling apart, remember the wise words of a woman called Mother Teresa.
"I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?"
A citizen of the world