This Father’s Day, Climate Dads began collecting stories from fathers to their families on how they are taking action on climate change. Each message is being archived with the DearTomorrow project.
Climate Dad Dominic Cacioppo, Jr. wrote the following message to his future children. Share your own story
To my Beloved Future Children,
If this letter reaches you, it likely signifies that a number of important factors are in place in this world. A friend once showed me that we can longer take things in life for granted. The act of having a child itself is something that was romanticized and conditioned into my generation as we grew up. Our lives were built around a world where everyone has a family (husband and wife) with two kids, a dog (or cat), and a house with a white picket fence. Dad had his steady job and Mom stayed home to raise the little ones and keep things in order. Everything was stable.
Yet, growing into a young man, from 1984 through the present 2018, I see this lifestyle as something distant. It is fitting that while writing this letter, listening to the music of one of my favorite Lofi mix DJ’s, Akira the Don, a remixed rendering of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” just started playing. You see – I am LUCKY, lucky because you are here in my life and are able to read this letter.
This arrangement of words also likely means that I was able to find love and have a wife or significant other in my life. For many hours, months, and years I dedicated myself to my profession first, over everything else. I often was alone, as I found myself surrounded by sinister forces that relentlessly worked to halt my progress. Some of them even crept into my head and took over my psyche.
American society eventually became engulfed by these dementors. The future of our country was besieged by burdens of student debt (over $1 Trillion), in-accessibility to quality paying jobs, life delegated to working low wage, part-time jobs in tenuous working conditions, the constant prospect of world war (nuclear annihilation), and a planet heating to levels beyond repair. The human condition is now precarious; people across the world suffer in excessive poverty and not enough action is taken because many are either too bogged down or refuse to see the larger ramifications of our collective entropy.
This story, however, is NOT over. Below is my roadmap for your generation.
It was an odyssey for me – it was on this crossroads though, that I was able to find myself. I initially felt disillusioned by the prospect that after all of this hard work, I could find myself holding a bag of nothing. There would be nights where I would see the silhouette of a woman in my dreams, but her face would always remain a blank canvas. Just another unknown part of my path.
Along the way, I kept strong and met people who joined me in battle. We worked together to challenge our assumptions and were able to see the realities of the world by stepping outside of ourselves into new experiences. We each experienced great amounts of pain in our own ways. The dementors at times divided us, but we adapted and learned to overcome our differences.
Civilization was rebuilt only after people developed a system based around self-sufficiency and sustenance. Citizens used challenges as opportunities and harnessed technology to do unbelievably amazing things that benefited society as a whole. Cities and towns were built around the needs of the people, instead of the greed and vices of capitalism. People live their lives fulfilled with social freedom in a vibrant, fully functioning ecology. Having the option of economic freedom, sustainable transport (mass transit and properly designed streets), and a respect for nature (and each other) has made this all possible.
For you to continue this, you must not be afraid to question everything and step outside of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to require answers from those in power. Practice social and emotional intelligence – and keep fighting (war) as a last resort.
Be fearless – do not be afraid to talk to each other and do not be afraid to fail. And remember to respect those that came before us. Stay connected with your family. Find good friends and keep them close. Meditate and calibrate your wellness; understand yourself. Count your blessings: For me, there are my new nephews and niece – Brayden, Josh, and Ella.
Please do not forget our great inspirations – Jan Gehl, Janette Sadik-Khan, Indy Johar, Alice Fung, the Kennedys, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Howard Kunstler, the Roosevelts, Henry Wallace, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Oliver Stone, Julian Assange, Jerry Stiller, Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin, Dev Aujla, Walt Whitman, Rob Fleming, Chet Baker, Tori Amos, Leonard Cohen, Beck (Hansen), Liz Elam, James Marshall, Jamarl Thomas, Donald Glover, Caitlin Johnstone, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Seek out those who inspire you.
Stay objective 😉
Be the change that you wish to see in the world!
With all my heart and love
Dominic Cacioppo, Jr.