An Open Letter to the Graduating Class.

Updated: Oct 6th, 2022

Did you ever ask yourself, if there is anyway that you can live your life in this world,- in a way that actually makes a difference?

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now,
and nothing can stand in your way…”

(‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’)

As I’m writing this note to you, I’m sitting on the beach on the outer banks of North Carolina..

It’s a bright and sunny day with a cool breeze, my toes are buried in the sand and I’m surrounded by all kinds of seabirds.

There’s about a half dozen of these long-legged birds, (I think they’re called ‘yellowlegs’), standing like sentries at the surfs edge, just watching and waiting for critters to gobble up!

There’s a flock of seagulls flying all around, and out in front of me, out over the ocean, there’s three or four great big pelicans. They’re dive-bombing for fish,- flying way up high, and then diving straight down, smacking into the ocean headfirst!

I would say it’s a pretty awesome day,- slightly better than sitting at a desk!

(Insert winkie-face here)

And here’s the best part:- there’s this cute little sand crab on the beach about 10 feet away..

I see him peeping up out at me from his little hole, and then ever so cautiously scooting out, around about a foot or so… Then, when I move even so much as one itty-bitty little finger, he just zzzips back into his hole! And the process starts all over.

I’ve named him “mr. skittles.”

During my childhood, I spent many summer vacations here on the outer banks. The names of places like ‘Manteo’ and ‘Wanchese’ were household words for us kids growing up.

I grew up collecting shells at Nags Head, scampering around the Hatteras lighthouse, and skipping stones on the Roanoke. Exploring the wonders of the tidepools..

Everywhere falling in love with nature!

But now,- as an adult,- I’m reading that the oceans are threatened by acid rain, a result of all the pollution that humans are putting in the air.

Scientists are telling us the sea levels are rising, because of melting icecaps and glaciers…

And because of both of the above reasons, the coral reefs of the world are slowly dying away…

And on top it all, experts are predicting that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish..

As I sit here gazing out over the ocean, and feeling the amazing life energy emanating from it, I’m just sitting here asking myself,-

What are we doing here?

Fueled by corporate greed, and perpetuated by politicians who need money from corporations, we are facing a threat that is unprecedented in the history of our world…

The face of this problem is just so vast and overwhelming, I feel like sometimes it can make us, as individuals, feel very tiny and unimportant. Like, especially amongst people my age, it can cause us to lose our hope, make us feel as if we are trapped in a situation that we can’t do anything about.

So we just go with the flow..

But did you ever ask yourself, can there be something more?

Did you ever wonder if there anyway that you can live your life in this world, even starting at your young age,- in a way that actually makes a difference?

The adults of my generation, just like pretty much every generation before us, are basically spending our days sitting on a set of railroad tracks, with our heads down.

We are looking at our phones.

We are checking our graphs to see how our stocks are doing, plotting our next move, planning our retirement, paying our bills, and we are mowing our lawns and trimming our hedges. All-in-all, we are doing a most excellent job of keeping up with the Joneses!

Presently using our charts and graphs to determine how we can maximize earnings.

What will the economy do?

Should I buy?

Or should I sell?

And all the while, there is a headlight coming from a train that has appeared in the distance. Heading straight towards us.

Since we want to believe that what we’re doing is ok, the tendency is that we want you to join us there. On the tracks. Having company makes us feel good about what we are doing.

With few thoughts about the future.

Dear Seniors of the Graduating Class

The reason I am writing you this letter to you today is because I know, in my heart, that our world needs a generation of brave, and young, and fearless leaders.

We need a generation that is not afraid to be different, and not afraid to be looked down upon by their elders or their peers for being different.

We need a generation that is motivated by something other than the greed and lust for gold and power and comfort, that soooo much,… characterizes our world.

A generation that is not afraid to break ranks.

We need a generation that looks to the future.

Could this be you?

Or am I just living in a dream world?

I’m closing my eyes, feeling the sunshine on my face, and hearing the voices of the birds in the air, and the sounds of the waves breaking in front of me,-

And I’m reflecting on the awesome natural beauty of this world,..

And I’m reflecting on how precious every moment of this life is,…

Reminding myself,-

Hearing these words in one ear,-

“From ashes to ashes, and dust to dust…”

And then hearing a voice whispering in my other ear,-

“He who dies with the most toys wins.”

Our Planet has been hijacked by a huge carbon-burning machine. It gets its life-support from the purchases that we make at the pump. The real question is,- are we willing to make the personal sacrifices necessary to starve it?

Life is Choice

Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to take a step forwards. That rule can apply to us as individuals, or to us as a society.

And there’s no mysterious power that makes these choices for us.

I respect whatever your personal beliefs are,- whether you believe in God, or Allah, or some other spiritual entity,- whatever you believe in is fine! All good! But I’m here to express that I believe it’s God’s promise to us, that we each have individual choice.

We don’t have to live our lives like we’re someone else’s puppet. Or some thing else’s.

Even if you’re an atheist, choice is at the very crux of life,- it’s what life is all about!

I’m here to say that saving the planet is a great choice!

One that future generations will thank us for!

So what I’m asking you to do today, as you celebrate this graduating in life from one great stage to the next, is to go right now,- (please just go!) And look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself,-

What choices will you make with your life?

What will you stand for?

Will your generation be like mine?

Or will yours be the one to make the change?

Please believe in yourself! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve something, no matter how hard it seems and even if it seems impossible!

It all begins with you!

“Be the Change you wish to see in the World…”

In the pages coming up we will be talking about the top ways, and top things we can each personally do,- to work together to save the environment:- to serve each other, as well as future generations.

I’m not here to sugarcoat this for you.

It will be challenging!

But, as you move forward with your life and prepare yourself to enter the work force, my hope and wish for you is that you will always hold this feeling, this feeling that you truly can change this world, close to your heart.

Now,- let’s take a look and see what we can do!

Thank you for being here, and thank you for taking the time to visit, and read, and listen..

sincerely yours,

John E


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