An Apology to My Descendants

To all those who have the misfortune of following behind my generation, I just have one thing to say to you: I'm sorry.

So, to those of you in the future who are reading this right now, I know you probably don’t want to hear this, and I understand. You have every right to be pissed at us. Me trying to apologize now for our mistakes probably seems far less than sincere to you. But I just want you to know that, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.

I’m so very sorry.

I’m sorry that so many of you don’t have access to clean drinking water. Our bottom lines were just too important… Yes, we knew, in theory, that dumping toxins and trash into our lakes and rivers was bad. But it just seemed like a problem for later. I mean, there was just so many places that were clean and it seemed like we could never make all of them toxic. So we just kept on dumping. And kept on dumping. It’s so expensive hauling, storing, and properly disposing of all that sludge. It’s so much easier to just dump it somewhere and forget it, and vastly more profitable. We should have thought of you, and we didn’t.

I’m sorry that having fish of any kind is a luxury for you. Our bottom lines were just too important… Sure, people always wailed and pissed and moaned about us over-fishing the oceans. But we didn’t really take them serious. I mean, the oceans are huge, and there were just so many fish that we didn’t honestly think we could ever catch them all. But, as any great Pokemon player knows, you can always catch ’em all if you try hard enough. And we sure did try really fucking hard. And we sure did reach that goal. On the bright side, though, the dirty water meant most of them were full of plastic and chemicals, so it’s not like they were even that good there towards the end. So you aren’t really missing much. Still, we should have thought of you, and we didn’t.

I’m sorry that the air you breath is bad. Our bottom lines were just too important… Yes, we saw the examples from dozens of cities around the world. Horrendous cities in Mongolia, India, and China where the air was so polluted that the people had to wear masks just to go to work. Cities where children were far more likely to die young, and cancer ran rampant throughout the population. Yes, we saw what was happening to them and we ignored it so that we could make a few more dollars for ourselves. Reducing carbon emissions is just so ridiculously expensive, and we couldn’t afford the hit on our profit margins. We should have thought of you, and we didn’t.

I’m sorry that you have yet a another horrible stain on your heritage. Our lives were just too busy to stop it… The world was changing faster than we could keep up. The entire idea of careers, work, and industry seemingly transformed overnight, and we weren’t ready for it. So we elected a con-man who claimed to have all the answers. He said he could fix it, and that he’d let us make more money. He said he’d make us great again, and he blamed all of our problems on these groups of people who had absolutely no hand in our situation. We fell for it. Instead of looking up at the people who were in control and holding them accountable, we kept looking down at those worse off than us and blamed them for our problems instead. We did a lot of terrible things to innocent people, and now you are forced to live with those memories and legacy. We should have thought of you, and we didn’t.

I’m sorry that we didn’t stand up against those in charge when we knew we should. I’m sorry that we let money decide our actions instead of compassion for others. I’m sorry that we were scared, that we were terrified of everything and only thought of ourselves. I’m sorry that you rarely, if ever, entered our minds as we adjusted to the new world around us. Everything we did has directly affected you and we really, really should have left you something better.

But, as you well know, we didn’t. And I’m so, so very sorry… I wish I could take it all back. Just know that some of us truly did fight for you. We tried our best to get others to care about you, as well. But, sadly, we failed miserably.

We gave you a pretty shitty world. I wish we’d left you something beautiful instead.

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