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Dear future self,

This has been an insane few years, both personally and globally. There have been Black Lives Matter movements, a riot on the capital, the disaster and racisms of the Trump administration, and the global COVID pandemic. Personally, you’ve been stretched thin in your job and its impact on your self-worth. You’ve had to fight for what is right at work, you’ve had to ask for help repeatedly, even though it never should have gotten to that point. Each day has been a challenge, but your family and relationships have gotten you through.

I hope that the future is less selfish and more empathetic. I hope that the well-being of the individual is valued as much as the collective good. I hope that the Earth heals itself and that people heal relationships. World peace is a myth, but we can each play a role in bringing a slice of peace to where we are, to the people we interact with, to the lives we lead.

I promise to be more conscious of my food and product choices. I promise to purchase an electric or hybrid car as my next vehicle. I promise to continue to stay up-to-date on the science of climate change and to teach my students that they can make a difference.

Climate change feels like an insurmountable challenge. When was the last time anyone ever agreed on anything, let alone the whole world collaborating for a cause that dictates an immense change in lifestyle and priorities. The “danger zone” is so much closer than we think; it’s not just 100 years in the future, or even 30, it is already a slippery slope and climate disaster is only 7-10 years away. The world needs to shift our lifestyles to include less meat and incorporate more local foods. We need to limit waste, create sustainable products, and implement clean energy sources. Money needs to take a back seat to the reality that our home is at serious risk; in fact, money shouldn’t even be in the metaphorical car. If we were able to make and distribute a global vaccine for a novel virus in less than a year, we should be able to come together to solve the issue of climate change.

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