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Katie Foster
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To my children,

I’m only fifteen at the time I write this–2017 has just begun. My bestie (you’ll probably know who I’m talking about) and I have just resolved that we need to do something. Even though we can’t do much, small seeds grow big trees, so perhaps we’ll have more power to do more in the future. For now, all we’re doing is lots of research and online petitions.

Honestly, I feel small. I feel like a statistic. I feel like another 1 in 7,477,616,470+ people, and I am. I feel powerless to save the glaciers, to stop deforestation, to clean the air. I feel like everything that I fear to come is inevitable, impossible to stop. Even if the world is somehow miraculously fixed by the time you are alive, I’ve found a quote I hope can motivate you as it has me. “Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” Louis D. Brandeis

I don’t know who you are yet, but I’ll tell you right now: I do not believe in the impossible. Anything can be surmounted. I’m going to leave this earth as best as it can be for the next five generations below me, and I’ll teach you to do the same. I’ll let you play in the dirt, untainted by city litter. I’ll let you run in the trees, protected and reserved for the other peoples we forget we’re sharing this planet with. I’ll let you swim in the ocean, because the trash floats have been gathered up, and I’ve discovered a way to recycle them without releasing more and more toxins into the air, and I’ll have devised a new system of consumption that isn’t as linear and infinite as it is now.

That beach will be clean. Those coral reefs will be alive. I’ll hike you up to the glaciers so I can watch you gawk at how unbelievable and irrevocably huge they are, because I’ll have inspired people to build air-cleansing technologies that slow their melting. I’ll know more. All of these things will live to meet you, and your children, and their children, because I want to change the world. I want to change the world because I love the possibility of you.

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More Messages to the Future

 

Dear Valentina & Luis,

You both know I have made it my mission to get people to understand more about the state of our planet‘s climate and what was at stake.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to contact my local officials on passing measures against climate change

 

Dear X—, Dear A—,

As with our struggles to eliminate police brutality, as with hate crimes, so it is with climate change – there are actually a lot of people out there who care.

 

Dear Thomas,

When you look at me with those big beautiful eyes and that innocent smile, you make me want to fight harder. And I do.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to pick up trash at every beach I visit, use metal straws, take quick showers.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise I will take short showers, eat less meat, and buy local more often.

 

Dear Gabriel,

When the worst consequences of climate change still feel far away today, or the barriers to acting on climate change seem steep today, I do not think about today. I think about you, and your world when you are my age.

 

Dear Tara,

I am sitting in a classroom thinking about you. Which is rare for me. I hope that our family has taken some initiative to do something about changing society instead of building robots and large houses.

 

To the wonderful children of our family – Elayna, Julianna, and James –

There is no issue more important to your future and your friends’ future than stemming climate change.

 

My dearest children Ameilia and Alivia, 

I want you to hear the whispers of the seasons changing. The rustling of leaves as they gracefully cascade down from their limbs in the fall, birds singing in spring, and frogs that serenade the summer night.

 

To the wonder,

Dear tomorrow, thank you for letting me ride the wave of wonder that reaches toward you for all generations of all species to come.

 

To my darling ones,

And it’s not that I don’t care. I care deeply. For you three, and the families I hope you will have one day; for the many beautiful places I have had the privilege to know, places which take my breath away, that fill my heart with a bursting joy and connectedness to something so much greater than I, places I know may be quite different when you are my age

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