As I am entering Fatherhood I came across this speech by Barack Obama on the topic. In his speech he talks frankly about the importance of being a good example to children etc. He then recounts his answer to the question of “What does life mean to you?” from a child. His answer resonates well with the concept of World is Green.
I was answering questions at a town hall meeting in Wisconsin the other day and a young man raised his hand, and I figured he’d ask about college tuition or energy or maybe the war in Iraq. But instead he looked at me very seriously and he asked, “What does life mean to you?”
Now, I have to admit that I wasn’t quite prepared for that one. I think I stammered for a little bit, but then I stopped and gave it some thought, and I said this:
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me - how do I make my way in the world, and how do I become successful and how do I get the things that I want.
But now, my life revolves around my two little girls. And what I think about is what kind of world I’m leaving them. Are they living in a county where there’s a huge gap between a few who are wealthy and a whole bunch of people who are struggling every day? Are they living in a county that is still divided by race? A country where, because they’re girls, they don’t have as much opportunity as boys do? Are they living in a country where we are hated around the world because we don’t cooperate effectively with other nations? Are they living a world that is in grave danger because of what we’ve done to its climate?
And what I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children - all of our children - a better world. Even if it’s difficult. Even if the work seems great. Even if we don’t get very far in our lifetime.