Every year at ESK, eighth grade students share their “This I Believe” essays with their fellow classmates during Chapel. Students are tasked with sharing a life lesson they have learned with the student body. According to the “This I Believe” organization website, students are encouraged to “start by telling a compelling story about how you came to hold an important personal belief—something that guides your daily living.” The talks are based on the “This I Believe” radio show hosted by Edward R. Murrow more than 50 years ago. Students all over the country – and the world – participate in the “This I Believe” project each year. ESK will feature several of these essays, including today’s from eighth grader Lauren Booker.
Dear Future Generations, I’m sorry. I would like to apologize on behalf of all of us when I say it. I’m sorry that you are still defined by your race, gender, sexuality or religion even though that should have ended years ago. I’m sorry that when you see violence of any kind on TV you shrug as if it normal and look the other way, that you have become so numb to the idea of love, and that your religion can still define you as a terrorist. I’m sorry that you will never be able to see amazing animals such as polar bears because they’re all dead because people told us global warming didn’t exist and that you will never see the Nile River or as you would call it, the Nile Desert. I’m sorry to all the little girls that are still told everyday that will never be as strong, as powerful or as helpful as a guy. I’m also sorry that these same girls are told to have a body type that less than 5% of girls actually have. I’m sorry that war is still all around us because we focused more on celebrities and less on what’s important. That your confidence should be defined by a stupid To Be Honest or how many followers you have. That little boys sit around all day thinking that girls wear makeup to impress them. Which I can tell is simply not the case. Also to my kids I’m sorry, I may not be the best mom in the world but I can tell you that I’m looking out for you. Just like your grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and your friends’ parents are too. I’m sorry that like me you take your everyday day blessings for granted because you don’t realize what you have till it’s gone.
Wait, I shouldn’t have to apologize for any of that because it should be in the past. So here goes nothing. Dear Future generations this is what your world should be like. You should be accepted no matter what your sexuality is, bisexual, gay, pansexual, and/or straight. My white child should be able to be best friends with your black or Asian child. My daughter should never be told that she is lesser than any guy in her class, because honestly she probably got her wits from me. I should be able to see the mountains from my house without smoke and dust blocking my view. People should love more and hate less. Poverty should be a thing of the past and everyone should have a second chance in life not matter their past. No children should have to fear for their lives everyday because they could be killed for having an education. Water should be plentiful and education should be a must not a maybe.
Though this seems like some fantasy land that will probably never happen I can still dream. I may a small person, at a small school, in a small town, in a regular sized state, in a large county and in a even larger universe but I can still try to make a difference. Remember that silence isn’t golden, and if you’re quiet you become part of the problem. Because we are all small pebbles in a huge lake that is life but even the smallest rocks can make ripples. And many rocks together can create huge waves. Don’t wait for the inspiration, be the inspiration. As once said by Barack Obama “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Change doesn’t happen overnight but the dreams for a better world do. We have a long way to go, but just maybe we will get there someday. This I Believe.