During his speech this morning on the White House lawn, Pope Francis borrowed a phrase from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to express his concerns regarding how we’ve been approaching the issue of climate change:
“We can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it.”
As a mom, I relate it to procrastinating the dirty chores, like scrubbing the toilets and mopping the floors. If I wait long enough, the problem just gets worse and worse. If you have boys, you know exactly what I mean.
“It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation,” Pope Francis remarked. “We still have time to make the changes needed…”
Today, the debate isn’t that climate change isn’t real. The debate is more about how much time do we really have to make adjustments and corrections. Some groups want to press the issue with more urgency than others.
But what about parents? How do we view the issue of climate change?
Pope Francis stated, “Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them.”
Serious and responsible are strong words. Those hit home for me.
How serious are we as parents to make responsible choices and decisions that are going to effect the kind of world our kids will inherit as adults? Are we serious and responsible enough to make hard decisions that are, no doubt, going to be met with resistance and push back? Or are we really going to sit back and pass along our problems for our children to solve for us?
I’ve heard my grandmother tell me so many times that she doesn’t want to be a burden on others. She doesn’t want others to take care of her because she wants to be independent and do things on her own. I wish in that same way that our nation and it’s leaders can approach the tough issues. I wish that everyone would agree that we need to do everything in our power now to ensure that our problems are solved by us and they aren’t just passed down later as a burden for our kids.
As parents, we always want more for our kids. We always want them to have a better life than we did. Shouldn’t we also want them to have a better, cleaner planet? Or do we want to pass down to them a used and abused ecosystem, one who’s resources are all used up? For me, I’d sleep better at night if I knew without a doubt that my kids and grandkids would be able to live in a world of abundance. And I want that sustainability to last for many, many generations after.
What we can do as parents
Election season is among us in the United States and if ever an issue mattered, it matters more now. In addition to voting, please do the little things: choose organic when possible, recycle, conserve water, etc. etc. Those efforts might not seem like much, but they really do make a difference. Plus, they are all methods that your children can witness you participating. At the end of the day, you want to teach your children to be kind to our planet, too, and the best way you can teach them is by being a good role model.
In what ways are you contributing to climate change relief?