A letter to the future
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and I decided I have to write this. I owe it to you. I owe you a big apology.
To my grandchildren, yes, you were cute and showed so much promise. I'm sorry I didn't protect you from the people who pumped all that poison into the air. I'm sorry you had to suffer so much before you died, unable to breathe because of the asthma. I wish I could say, "Had I only known, I would have stopped them," but I promised myself I would tell the truth in this letter. So here it is: I did know. We all knew. I was just too afraid to do anything. Too afraid to even say anything, lest my friends think I was some kind of radical freak.
You can understand why being thought well of by my peers was so important, can't you?
To my great-grandchildren, what few of you didn't end up dead of obesity before fifty because of all the horrible food we pumped into you since you were too young to talk, I'm sorry. Honestly, I have trouble really caring too much about you. Its not like I'll ever meet you, and even when I do you'll just be a baby, so you honestly don't matter that much to me. Thats why I supported all those tax cuts. Sure, I knew the money was actually a loan, and I know loans come due, but I really wanted to feel like I would be able to keep as much money as possible once I reached the upper income brackets. Sure, I never did, but what if I had? I hope you can accept that I had more empathy for the living rich people I wanted to be than I had for the unborn poor people I was handing the world over to.
And to the generation who will have to fight and die and spill an ocean of blood to win back their rights goes my biggest apology of all. I'm sorry I didn't make the small sacrifices now to stop the beast when it was young and weak. I'm sorry I didn't rise up, rally my fellows, and take back control of my government. I know that it was my duty as a citizen to oversee the government, but I just couldn't be bothered to change things. I didn't think they'd really pass the neosedition laws. I didn't think they'd really use their new powers against their political enemies. I didn't think letting them interpret the constitution to mean they didn't have to follow it was a very big deal. I didn't think they'd come for me.
Sometimes I made mistakes. Sometimes I simply chose the easy road. In the end, I traded your future for my present, your blood, sweat, and tears for my greed.
I don't expect you to forgive me. I don't deserve forgiveness.
All I hope is that you can learn from my mistakes. When the time comes that tyrants raise their head in your era, do not give them a single inch to hang you with. When the beast rears its head, chop it off without a moment of hesitation. When you are faced with a choice between an illusion of security and the hard road of liberty, don't choose the way I did.
Don't make my mistakes. I failed. And I'm sorry.