The Future of the World–A letter to my infant daughter

April 26, 2008

Dear Grace,

Even though I cannot represent all of humanity I want to, for this moment, act as a speaker for the human race and apologize to you and all future generations for the harm and havoc we have reeked upon the earth. I have looked deep within and I do not think we truly understand what we do. We pour chemicals into the ocean and forget that we are poisoning the very water we drink. We slaughter animals by the millions in a genocide of epic proportions to provide flesh wrought by violence that clogs our arteries and stills our beating hearts. We clear cut ancient forests and Amazonian jungle, extinguishing all manner of flora and fauna not realizing that the diversity of life supports our very existence. We tirelessly run machinery and factories which support our lifestyles and produce noxious fumes which suffocate our fleeting breath. We started doing all of this many years ago and now we do not know how to stop. We are caught in the rut of habit, attached to that which makes us sick.

Grace, we need to remember. We are inextricably connected to this earth and will share in the fate we are helping to bring about. We used to be more in tune with the natural processes and we have since moved further and further away from the flow of life. We have put birth and death behind the antiseptic walls of institutions and forgotten how important it is to witness these sacred passages. We have ignored or kept hidden parts of existence that may seem painful or unwelcome. We are fragmented and so think that there is an “other” with which we must struggle.

Grace, I do not know what the answer is but I do know that there are many good folks on this earth trying to bring about change. I hope that in my own life I can tread a little more lightly upon this earth and learn to live more in concert with the ebb and flow of life. I will continue to look within and explore the stillness that extends over this mysterious planet. I will do my part to re-member and find inside my heart that connection that binds us all together.

I love you,

Your Dad

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11 Responses to “The Future of the World–A letter to my infant daughter”

  1. Granny Smith Says:

    This eloquent letter to Grace brought tears to my eyes because its all so true.

    Thank you for your perceptive view of our self-generated destruction of our only home.

  2. paisley Says:

    i just hope you wait till she is plenty old enough before you give it to her,, or the poor kid will have nightmares for life!!!

  3. Jon Says:

    I’ve a daughter myself and I’ve often thought these same thoughts.


  4. […] From The Future of the World – A letter to my infant daughter by Matthew I hope that in my own life I can tread a little more lightly upon this earth and learn […]


  5. lovely touching post. so thoughtful and real.

  6. Tammie Says:

    Yes tread lightly and yet tread deeply.
    Thank you for your voicing of the ways that are being walked. I agree, we need to be aware of how connected we are to all life and life of our planet, this is real and in the realization comes different actions. Actions that feed life, not destroy.
    Thank you.


  7. What a beautiful letter. It reminds me of an email I recently received about a conversation between a boy and his grandfather, asking how it was that we destroyed the world. Much for all of us to ponder – and hopefully set right.


  8. What an honest and wonderful letter. I think you will be a good father, if this is how you are beginning.

    There is a great deal of responsibility and care in you, duty and compassion.
    She is a lucky little girl, and perhaps she will grow to become one of the people who do change our world for the better.

    Congratulations on her, and best wishes to you all.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore


  9. Matt, I’m sure it was the birth of little Grace that instilled further the tendencies towards guardianship and governance that were already in you. Here is a beautiful thing that must be protected. Here is a person that will not know a beautiful world if we do not safeguard it. Despite everything else, she will get along well because of her parents. As for the world…
    It has seemed to me that much of the world is the way it is, because children were left to raise children. People who did not know enough led their successors towards the the same, or greater, ignorance. We will have to refine and expand upon our understanding and cultivate in our children the means to surpass our own wisdom. So, it will do good to remember your letter.

  10. Matthew Says:

    Thanks Michael. Yes it would do well to instill wisdom in the next generation…I am very interested in how that experiment will pan out. What I may be able to control is my relationship with the world around me and in turn influence how Grace relates to the world. Undoubtably there is a great mystery surrounding both of these processes.

    I’m coming over to visit your blog!

  11. Grettens Says:

    The most complex relationship there may exist is one between parents ‘n their children.


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