Letter to my Grandchildren

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My Dear Grandchildren,

As I write this letter to you, you are many years away from your first breath in this world, but I know that I am connected to you. My actions now and the actions of the other people on this planet with me are shaping the life that is yet to come for you. I am holding you in my heart today with great concern because We/I are not doing enough to make sure that you will live in a world in which your greatest potential for flourishing as a person will be possible. We are creating a world in which the diversity, beauty, and value you will experience will be diminished. We are increasing the possibility that your world will experience much more suffering than joy. We are harming you by not finding ways to live within the abundance that our earth provides.

In writing this letter to you, I am searching for ways to make my connection and commitment to you more present in my current experience. I am searching for ways to contribute to your life so that you may have even more opportunities for joy than I have had in my own. In writing this letter, I am searching for ways to love you across time so that you may experience a life of love and joy and opportunity. If nothing else, I hope this letter will be a tangible reminder of my connection to you and that everything I do in my life will have an effect on you in your life.

I am committing to you today to change the things that I am doing to diminish the life you will experience. I am committing to you today to be even more intentional about living within the abundance that earth provides so that you may also experience its abundance. I am committing to you today to work to change structures and practices that are harming your life. You are not physically here with me yet, but you and I are connected, and I owe you my all to enhance rather than diminish the joy in your life.

I do not know if we will collectively be able to shape the world that you deserve to experience, but I will find ways to do everything I can with others around me to make that world a reality for you. If we are not able to shape the world that you deserve, I pray that you may still be able to find and share love in the world you have and that you may somehow contribute to a better world for your children and grandchildren. We are all connected. For all that I have left undone to enhance your life, I am sorry from the depths of my heart. But today, I commit to you to do all that is possible to love you with all of the actions of the rest of my life.

I love you already. May love and joy always be present to you.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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