I teach at an Expeditionary Learning School in Oregon. It is one of the coolest jobs I've ever had. We ask our students to interact with the world around them, and to learn through experience and service. Today, we wrote, as a class, an open letter to Earth in honor of Earth Day. I thought that I would share it here.
Happy Earth Day....Earth!
We, the 7th and 8th grade crew, are writing you a letter. This will consist of various bits of wisdom, advice, hope, or fear from each member of our class. We hope you enjoy and we'd love to hear from you soon.
First off, we are sorry. We are slow learners. Some of us mean well by you, and promise to take steps to improve on our treatment of you. We will strive to serve as a model for others in the hopes that the masses will one day appreciate you as we do.
- Mr. Joe
I hope people take better care of you. First, you need to give us warm weather. Everybody is cranky when there are no warm spells. We still should take care of you, even when it's cold for seven months. They'd be happier and want to take care of you more.
Tell your trees to run away. I want to use less paper and pencils. Instead, I will use pens. I like you Earth. You're a loving planet. I appreciate you. Happy Earth Day.
I am sorry we are screwing up your ozone. I am trying hard to keep you clean. My favorite place on you so far is in a forest next to a stream. You are truly beautiful. I wish we could clean you up entirely. I also wish I could talk to you face to face.
Thank you for giving us life. Without you we would be nothing. With our current situation, we are in a lot of trouble. I'm sure you are feeling the pain we are inflicting upon you. Some are trying to do as much as they can, while others have no hope. I fear you, just like a person, will someday die. We all have good intentions, and hope you live on forever.
Well, I fear we are going to lose you. I feel we are going to kill you in our mistreatment of you. This is getting out of hand. We are scarring you with all of our trash and pollution. You are the reason of our existence, but we treat you like dirt. I hope we learn our lesson before it is too late.
We are sorry for polluting, bombing, and leaving blood stains across your surface. We need you. You are the biggest mass. We do not treat you rightly, therefore we are sorry. We appreciate your understanding, and will try better in the future.
I'm sorry that we have abused your beauty and used it for our own personal gain. I would like to say I never meant harm but enjoyment from your vast hills. I believe others feel the same, and we are all sorry.
We love you. Without you, we would not be here. But I know some people treat you badly and pollute you. I'm sorry we bomb you and are killing you. I really hope people learn to treat you nicely and learn that you are a living planet. Because, if we don't, I fear that we will lose you.
I am happy that you are here. You are the only planet that bares life. I know that you have gone through many times of pain and suffering. But there are many people who are trying to help you and use the materials that you have given. There are many things that you have given us that we use in excess and I am sorry for it. But there are many things that you have given us in nature, like fishing and hunting, which are my favorite things to do and I thank you.
I hope you can forgive us for you giving you pain. Our class is trying to help you recover. I appreciate everything you've given me because you work hard to produce the things we need. I am doing my best to keep you alive. It breaks my heart to see how people are trying to destroy you. I hope you live a long time. I hope we fix what we have caused you. You deserve to be treated with respect and love.
We are afraid of learning and caring. We spit and pollute you. You give us life and we give you pain. You give us beauty and we give you blood stains. We mistake beauty for our own good. We throw away beauty for darkness and ugliness.
I enjoy being alive and so do many other people. You have the awesome power and we destroy you. I hope in the future, things will get better for all of us. Hopefully our world will not be destroyed by us. Earth, thank you for everything. We really appreciate it.
I am glad that you're here. If you weren't, I wouldn't be here. And no one else would be here. And that would suck. But we are, so it's all good. I and we are so sorry we are not cleaning you up. You are amazing, but when you end I will hate you. We need to clean you up and stop polluting so we don't die.
As you may know, I'm trying to go outside more and not watch t.v. or play video games. What I do when I play outside is play lacrosse, ride my bike, and hang out with my friends at the park. I hope that this is helping to make a difference.
I hope you are having a good Earth Day. It probably isn't, because you are constantly being drilled into and burned and broken. You are also constantly being polluted, driven on, dug through, and split apart. You are being fought on and over and having your tress chopped down. Happy Earth Day anyways.
People have been mistreating you for a long time. People litter, waste energy, pollute, and it's horrible. But some people try to help and clean up after others. Please don't blow up on us anytime soon.
You have been giving us food, water, and resources. You've given us shelter and many other things that we need. And you've been protecting us from the meteors that have been passing us.
How are you? Is everything going well? I just want to tell you that I feel truly sorry for you. I hope things will turn out well for you. I know we will fix this problem. Oh, and stick to alternative fuels, they're good for you.
Hello Earth. I just want to tell you that I'm sorry for pulling out the grass and accidentally breaking some branches once in a while. I know it must suck to be Earth while us humans are destroying you. We're killing you very slowly and I am sorry for this.