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Maya Laws
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To My Future Children,

By the time you are reading this, you will already be living a beautiful life on this beautiful Earth that is your home. As I write this letter, I wonder if the world will still be as beautiful as it currently is or if the treatment of it by society has robbed you of your opportunity to see the beauty that I saw when I was your age.

It has always been instilled in me that you should treat yourself, family, friends, and the other things within your life with respect because they are valuable and ultimately add a spark to your life. However, among this list of things, I have come to realize that the Earth should be treated with this same type of respect as well. This might sound cliché, but it is the truth and it is important. When I was in college, there was constant talk of sustainability and essentially showing respect for the Earth through small changes such as using alternative forms of energy, recycling, and other minimal tasks. Through taking various classes, watching the news, and spending countless nights reflecting on my life and the world around me, I came to the realization that simple acts like that are not enough and toting the word “sustainability” around like it was some grand gesture would not get us as a society anywhere.

That is when I realized that the word so often used, “sustainability”, needed to be revamped. Thus, I came up with a new definition of the word that focuses on human responsibility and is centered around respecting the Earth as it is our own and as something that we interact with daily. I pass this definition onto you because I want to encourage you to view the Earth as your friend that keeps you alive and adds an extra spark to your day. I want you to always keep this in mind because you all will be in charge of continuing the work that my generation has started. You all will be in charge of igniting real change and restoring the Earth back to the way that it was intended to be.

I encourage you to continue in this fight for a better Earth not only for  yourselves, but for your children, your grand children, and everyone else who will exist long after you are gone. This is because everyone is entitled to a clean and protected home and because I believe that everyone should experience the joy of being able to interact with a healthy and clean environment. I want you all to be able to go outside on a sunny day and not have to worry about if breathing in the air could harm you. I want you all to be able to enjoy days spent at a lake without worrying that the water is polluted. I want you all to be able to visit Disney World without wondering if Florida will soon be swallowed up by the rising ocean. I want you all to experience the wonderful things that I encountered in nature’s playground. I do not want these stories and memories that I share with you all or that you all share with your children to become tales of a time that once was and tales that represent something that is no longer accessible. I want these stories to live on not just through words, but through actions and the same experiences. So for this reason, I want you all to fight the good fight for Mother Earth. Fight the good fight and refuse to settle because she has done so much of you and she is your home.

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Dear Future Family,

As I’m sitting here trying to think of the best words to say to you all, I am thinking of one major thing: that I can only hope that you all get to experience the incredible beauty created by our planet.

 

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I promise to educate myself and others about how we can protect and nourish our 1 PLANET

 

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Aos meus sobrinhos queridos, Ana Laura, Luis Carlos e Helloísa,

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I hope that you all can enjoy the Smokey Mountains in your lifetime too and that they look how they did back in 2017 when I saw them.

 

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I promise I will encourage everyone to adopt a plant-based diet. Good for our health, the animals and the planet.

 

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I know it’s long past time to wake up. You deserve a future in which drought, famine, and war are not all your children ever know; the choices my generation makes now will determine your future.

 

Dear Tomorrow,

I promise to go to the farmer’s market more

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