I wrote this on May 22, 2020, after a prompt by Carvel Wallace. It’s a letter to a future community member or descendant. I wrote it in one go and present it here with almost no alteration, because I reread it recently and liked it. Believe me, that doesn’t always happen with my writing. I hope you like it, too.
Dear Future Person,
I don’t know what wisdom I have to give you. At this moment in history I am tired, bored, angry, scared, and berating myself more than usual for my mistakes. If I possessed any keys, any clues to making this better, I would have used them by now.
You are not alone. If you feel tired, bored, angry and scared, know that other people are also tired, bored, angry and scared. This doesn’t diminish how you feel, and I know it probably doesn’t make it any better, but it’s something to keep in mind. You can, I hope, find one of those people and find understanding and connection. It will help, but not enough.
Knowing you are not alone may be a comfort, but it is also a responsibility. We live in groups and we need each other. Every decision we make has consequences for someone, even if they’re tiny. And sometimes they’re huge. Remember others when you act. You aren’t better than anyone. Don’t erase yourself completely so others can be comfortable. (I hope that in the future women and the poor aren’t still being asked to do that, but I’m afraid I know better.) Don’t be afraid to need help, be vulnerable, and don’t let pride, anger, or boredom lead you to hurt other people.
Are there still scientists in your time? Good. Listen to them. I hope you still have faith in something beyond science, but within science, those people know their stuff. Render unto them the respect that deserves. God can help with the rest.
Money, or the lack thereof, is a poor measure of a person’s worth. In my day, we would pay for what we wanted but not what we needed, and the former only when we had no choice. We were not shifting to a glorious, money-free utopia. The people who made the rules decide what has value, and we went with it. We had little choice. Please pay your writers and artists and factory workers and nurses and farm pickers what they deserve. Stop buying cheap shit you don’t need. Share more. Use the library. Please tell me you still have libraries. They’re one of the few things open to all, that serve a real public good. The same jerks who make the rules think nothing is good unless it makes someone rich. Ignore them.
That’s what I got. I hope you are surviving and thriving. I hope you love and are loved. I love you, and I will try to minimize the harm my actions today cost you. That’s weak, but I’m only human and it goes with the territory.