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Shelby Jacobson
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Dear Tomorrow,

I write from a friend’s house in Lehigh Acres, Florida, with Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm ever produced by the Atlantic, swirling around me. They so generously offered us shelter in their home, as ours could very well be underwater once the storm surge hits. Barely two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, with stories and photographs coming from Houston and the surrounding areas making headlines across the globe. Behind Harvey and Irma come Jose in the Atlantic and Katia in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even more shocking than the quantity of hurricanes is their sheer, specifically those of Harvey and Irma. This is not normal. It is, however, a symptom of a sick planet, of climate change caused not by our planet’s natural cycles, but by humans who, for centuries, have been more concerned with splendor than sustainability. Humans that put convenience over conservation, and profit over people.

We’ve gotten better over time, as more and more begin to recognize how our actions have negatively affected the planet, we’ve developed new technologies and new methods through which to save our home. However, none of this matters if we can’t inspire a passion for Earth and in future generations. If we don’t do that, we have failed, regardless of any tangible progress we make towards a healthier home.

So, Tomorrow, I promise to do everything in my power to inspire you, to lead you, and to leave you an Earth that is healthier than it was when I first came into it. To paraphrase Terry Tempest Williams, what matters most is not what you’re willing to die for, but what you’re willing to live for. I am willing to live for the betterment of the planet I love so dearly, and I hope my life implores you to do the same.

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To my Beloved Future Children,

Be fearless – do not be afraid to talk to each other and do not be afraid to fail.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to not waste food and eat locally grown food.

 

Dear Future Ryan,

I promise to be a knight in the campaign of truth seeking.

 

My dear granddaughter Christy,

My own curiosity and knowing what a caring, aware young woman you are help me override despair.

 

Rachel and Noelle,

I hope in a small way this helps your world.

 

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.

 

Fe,

As one push of a button can set a spinner in motion, so too can the actions of one in creating a world that allows you to thrive, to giggle, to love.

 

To my Kids,

I wish you all the best and always make sure that you can be proud of yourself and don’t need status-symbols for feeling nice.

 

Dear Jamie and Jason,

My inspiration was the two of you. It started with thinking about the world you were inheriting and what your future was going to be like. But then you taught me how important it is to listen to you – to listen to young people.

 

Meus filhos,

Espero que vcs tb encontrem ,de alguma forma,um caminho para colaborarem com Nossa Mãe Terra, bjs eternos.

 

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.

 

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

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