Sometimes there are moments where things just come into focus. It’s during these times when I realize that there’s logical progression at work–not just of human history, but of my own life within it.
One of these moments occurred last week. I was scanning through the daily briefing from the bots at Google, an incredibly useful service that alerts me to any mention of 350.org in the media. And one story caught my eye–it was from my hometown newspaper, and it was all about my mother. The article described how she spearheaded one of the 1400 USA-based Step It Up events last year, bringing together hundreds of people for climate action in the town that raised me. It went on to explain my mother’s next stage of activism: a sustained campaign to sharply reduce the carbon footprint of our village. This is no easy task–my mother and her local group are launching a herculaen effort involving the slog of carbon auditing, the constant lobbying of elected officials, and managing the delicate dynamics of local political battles.
And the article went on, delving into my family’s history of activism accross generations–how my Grandfather had stood up for progressive policies as our nation carreened sharply to the right, how my mother convinced our Congresswoman to attend a climate rally, and how I myself have transitioned from campus organizations to international mobilizations.
As these familial connections were drawn, I began to place myself within a larger arc of history–not just as the inheritor of the activist gene, but as a player in the latest chapter of a narrative much larger than myself. And it dawned on me: none if this is happenstance. Without my mother, and my grandfather, and the thousands of activists and agitators and advocates who have come before me, this beautiful and bubbling movement wouldn’t exist–and I wouldn’t be a part of it.
And so, a message for my mother, and for the mothers and fathers and grandparents all over the world who have once again taken up the banner of change and made it their business to leave a better world for their children: Thank You.
Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you’re doing. Without you, we’d all be in a very different world right now–one far bleaker and less inspiring. Without my mother’s past and current work, I personally would never have been drawn to this work and this movement. And I think I speak for me and my mother both when I say that there’s not a chance in hell that we’re stopping now–together, we’re going to fight for our future as though my grandchildrens children’s lives depend on it.