My children are your hope for the future. They are humanity’s hope. So too are your children, and your grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. All the children of our species carry forward our genes, our brilliance, and our greatest potential.
We need to empower them to succeed. Let’s show them from the very beginning of their lives how to feel connected to life, and to practice humility in the face of their incredible strengths and vulnerabilities. Let’s teach children to be kind, empathetic, giving, inventive, courageous, and self-aware. A massive commitment, for sure, but certainly worth the effort.
We can make long term success easier for them by instilling good thinking patterns and habits in childhood that will carry them through a lifetime. Consciously choose to make environmentally friendly living a familiar part of their every day life and without effort they will choose sustainable behaviour as adults. Help them to instinctively look first to the wisdom of the natural world to solve problems. Show them that they are connected, not to a digital world, but to a living, breathing, incredibly complex and awesome web of life. It is never them against the world. They are a part of something so much bigger than themselves, and they very much belong here. Remind them that they are valuable beyond measure and in them we see our best potential.
Teach them to tread lightly, and to heal the things that they touch.
We will one day hand off everything to them. Everything tender, lush, difficult, joyful, healthy and sick. Everything. They will hold it all for a while. They will live entangled in it, suffering or thriving, and then pass it on themselves. Let’s not destroy the bountiful beauty of the natural world before they can ever come to know it intimately themselves. We need to leave them a world with forests full of medicines, soils full of nutrients, and oceans full of life.
So even though I am still Mom, I beg of you teachers, neighbours, and fellow parents: look out for my children and I will look out for yours. Point out to them migrating butterflies and serve them real food. Compliment the life in their eyes, their enthusiasm, competence, and creativity. Set shining examples for them to aspire to, and don’t ever stop fighting for the health and beauty of the planet that we will one day place in their hands.