“How dare you?” she asks.
And, she’s right. How dare I forget? How dare I go about my life in blissful ignorance? How dare I disregard the truth? How dare I not stand up and speak out?
I’m sorry Greta. I’m sorry for my failures. I’m sorry for my inaction. But, most importantly, I’m sorry for my cowardice.
Somewhere in the messy middle of leaving my youth and entering adulthood I lost my voice. I once was an impassioned youth on my own mini environmental crusade.
I once had my own agenda and I spoke out for environmental change in my small teenage world. I saw the power our voices had there. We affected small changes and adults around us heard our demands and pleas.
Then, I graduated, and my world was rocked. I left high school and was forcefully thrown into the adulting world of which none of my high schooling had actually prepared me for.
Suddenly I had to attempt to understand the wider economics of being self-sufficient both emotionally and financially. My once strong voice couldn’t hold up to stronger, louder voices touting the ‘science, politics, and economics’ that I had yet to fully learn about and understand.
I didn’t have the information, the confidence, the courage, or the endurance to speak up anymore. And, over the years that impassioned voice I once had became an inaudible whisper in the whirlwind of everyday life.
Of course, in all this time I’ve not been blind to the declining environmental state. I’ve mourned the land and lives lost. I’ve quietly fumed about governmental decisions, policies, and inactions.
Sure, I’ve done my small part of reducing, reusing, re-purposing, and recycling. Yet, I feel my actions, while helpful in their very small part, have had little impact.
My efforts have been nowhere close to what I should have been doing these past 20 years. I should have continued to speak out, to organize actions, and to educate myself and those around me.
Our dying world is an inconvenient truth that I have not had the courage to face.
So, to Greta, I’m sorry. To my children, I’m sorry. To all the lives lost yesterday, today, and tomorrow I’m deeply sorry.
And, to our world leaders, I’m furious that I’ve let you continue along your self-serving paths. I’m regretful that I’ve given you the power to speak for me. You have not heard my voice because I did not shout loud enough.
Well, no more.
Today, I pledge to stand up for my children, for our children, for our mother, and our future. Today, I choose to stand and be quiet no longer!
If you’ve not listened to the recent speech by Greta Thunberg, I’ve put it here below. Her words are heart-wrenching, honest, and need to be heard.
I realize that this is far beyond what I usually talk and share about here on Take Them Outside. But, this has been weighing heavily on me and I needed to share.
I want my children to feel the healing and appreciate the precious beauty of this world’s life. I want them to smell the dirt under their feet and get excited to find a baby bird in a nest.
It is from their time spent in nature that I hope they learn to respect all diversity in life and to honor and protect the people and beings that call this world home.
While it is a sad and illogical state where we adults look to our kids to fix our problems, this is, in actuality, the current state we’ve created.
Like Greta Thunberg said ” Right here, right now, is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. Change is coming – whether you like it or not”. It is my deep hope that my children will want to be that change. And, it is my hope that an outdoor childhood will fuel that passion and strengthen their courage as they enter adulthood.
I also know that I need to show them what it looks like to be courageous, and teach them how to stand up for their beliefs.
And, so, this is why I write this. I write this because now is the time. More than ever, we need to stand together with our children and demand answers and viable solutions.
I will no longer stand silent.
What will you do?
What will you do? This can be a pretty hard question for a lot of people. Many of us sit and stew wondering how our tiny actions could actually have any sort of impact at all on the entire environmental decline. We feel powerless and small. We’re just one person in a sea of millions, right?
But, you do matter. Your small actions really, really do matter!
And, I’ll come back in a few weeks to start sharing how you and your family’s small efforts effect change. But, in the mean time, I’d love if you could help me get started by adding some tips and ways to be environmentally minded at home.