But when you are reading this years from now, by the light of a solar powered lamp, know that your dad, mom and millions of others who burned brightly with love for our kids did what we could, when we knew the stakes.

Sent on by
John Friedrich
Send Your Own Message

Dear Rosie,

In two days you turn ten. Where does the time go?

I remember vividly the feeling of looking at you for the first time the night you were born, on the eve of Father’s Day. I sang you a song (Danny Boy) that I’d sung many times into your mommy’s belly. You stopped crying and gazed into my eyes, with a look of recognition. Like the Grinch, my heart grew three times that day, and nothing has been the same since!

I tell you all the time how much I love you – more than all the stars, all the grains of sand, all the drops of water in the ocean, to infinity. But words can never quite capture the feeling. Elizabeth Stone said that “making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” That’s how it is.

When I see other dads and moms with their kids, I know that they are feeling something similar. From San Francisco to Syria, Indianapolis to Iraq, the love that we parents have for our kids is universal. I’ve imagined from your first moments about how the collective power of love in the hearts of parents (and grandparents) everywhere could be harnessed to change the world. If we the parents demanded decisions be made with the best interests of all kids in mind, there could be no war, or children dying needlessly of preventable diseases, or inaction on the biggest problem of all — climate change. Parents united against global warming and global warring.

And yet, when I look around in these last days of your single digit years, I see awful spasms of violence – a mad man with a gun mowing down dozens of uncles, aunts, sons, daughters in Orlando, while bombs are dropped on hospitals tending to injured children in Syria. And I see temperatures and oceans rising, ice sheets melting at an alarming rate, droughts intensifying, wildfires raging, while the presidential candidate Donald Trump says it’s all a hoax invented by the Chinese (he really said that, look it up).

Reading the news, a dad could sink into despair. But that would betray the pact I made with myself when we decided to have a child–to stay hopeful that a better world is possible, and that I’d do what I could to help bring such a world about. A world that is, in the words of Carl Sagan, “worthy of our children.” Your birth, and the birth of each baby, is a vote for hope and determination regardless of appearances in the moment.

That’s why I work with Climate Parents, a group of parents and grandparents around the country taking action to help prevent catastrophic climate change so that we leave you and all kids everywhere a livable planet. And in doing that work every day, I see signs of hope emerging in so many places – the solar panels and wind turbines sprouting up like daffodils in springtime, the coal-fired power plants shutting down, the students suing governments for stronger climate action, the school boards voting to teach students the truth about climate change, the countries of the world agreeing in Paris to keep temperatures from rising to unbearable levels.

We may or may not do enough. Things could go either way. But when you are reading this years from now, by the light of a solar powered lamp, know that your dad, mom and millions of others who burned brightly with love for our kids did what we could, when we knew the stakes, as we watched our hearts running around–laughing, singing, playing and dreaming of the world to be.

Love forever,
Daddy

Share on:
 
Send Your Own Message

More Messages to the Future

 

I promise to plant trees and to turn off the lights.

 

Dear future generations,

My hope for you is that you can have equal experiences with nature that I was able to have with my dad.

 

To earth & its inhabitants,

Its been heavy on my shoulders since I found out about the state of climate woes as a child.

 

Dear Alex and Vivian,

This is my most important work.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

My promise is to continue to dedicate my life, my business, and my future to creating cultures that embrace environmental action not only for our own good, but the good of the countless other species hurting from climate change.

 

Dear Grandchildren,

I hope we can pass on a better place to live so that my grandchildren and their future children can enjoy the beauty of nature that our wonderful God has given us.

 

Dear Evie of 2050,

I can feel the change happening — many people are working to transform the world.

 

Queridas filhas Ana Luísa e Ana Carla,

Que vocês possam contar para seus filhos e netos que minha geração tomou consciência de sua responsabilidade e assumiu sua condição de natureza e a ela se reintegrou, com inteligência, interação respeitosa e solidariedade.

 

My darling girls,

I can be brave enough to wake up.

 

Dear Grown up Alton and Dot,

The most important thing in my life is you, which means that as your mom – I am doing my very best to make sure that when you read this letter, Earth is a cleaner and safer place for you and your children.

 

Dear Llewyn, beloved grandson …

I can only say that I devoted myself to doing as much as I could to make it better, to provide for a just transition, and to fight those forces that continued to exploit the Eaarth with extractive methods, methods that always also included oppressing some people–because those doing the oppression believed that they were better and deserved more.

 

To My Daughter and Future Grandchildren,

There are so many more things that we can do together to help our Earth from the damage that has been done, and I am so excited to teach you.

View All Messages

Send Your Own Message