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Dear Sam,

Stop. Take a moment and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly…what do you smell? Be still. What do you hear? How does the air feel as it moves around you? Can you feel the sun warming your skin? Open your eyes. What do you see? Look around you to find an area in the distance that looks untouched by man. How long does it take you? Is it possible? Think about the last meal you ate. Where did it come from? Can you name all of the ingredients? Is clean, fresh water available to you? Is it available to everyone? Wiggle your toes. Are you able to feel the unbroken earth under your feet? Could the soil below you sustain life?

I would like to say that I know the answer to all of these questions and more, but that just isn’t the reality. My most pessimistic view of the future paints a desolate image of a scorched planet unable to provide nutrients and livelihood to its inhabitants. While this may seem like a despondent and cynical view, the truth is that it is entirely possible. Thankfully, there are many “truths” that coexist amongst each other.

Though it may be a fact that our current human ways are unsustainable at best, it is also feasible to imagine a better future for the world. I think of the possibilities ahead to craft a healthier future for our children…one with strong communities and a symbiotic relationship between humans and our planet.

None of this will come to fruition without a fight. There will be blood, sweat, and tears shed as we pave the way toward a more viable and worthwhile way of life, but it will be a labor of love. It will be an act of service to future generations, and it will inspire many to continue the work necessary to secure an equitable future.

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