My theme for this week is CHILDREN OF THE WORLD.
I am so concerned about the damage so many of us adults throughout the world have done to the planet and the climate, as well as to global economics, politics and each other, that I fear for the future of the children of the world. We are leaving them a legacy of gross inequalties and devastation, suffering and despair.
Babies and young children so beautiful that I cannot resist taking photos of them, even if they aren’t my own children and grandchildren! But as I look back on many of these photos, I wonder what their lives are like now – or whether some of them are even still alive: are they going to school? have they got enough to eat? have they been orphaned? are they happy and carefree? And I also wonder what their lives will be like if they ever reach my age of 75. As I look at some of my photos, I notice how many of the children (many of whom I don’t know) look pensive or worried or sad already. What have they experienced and suffered already? Is that how childhood should be?
This Coronavirus pandemic has made me even more aware of what is wrong in our world – a world which has changed dramatically over the past four months. It has strengthened the conviction that, for the sake of all our children, we must make profoundly significant changes.
This pandemic has shown us that it is possible to make some of these changes which even six months ago we thought were impossible. My deepest longing is that the world should not return to the old “normal”.
“Normal” wasn’t working for most of the world as we entered 2020 and we could all see we were heading for further disaster, inequality and devastation. With this in mind, on behalf of the children of the world whose future we hold in our hands, I have written an Open Letter to the leaders of the world through António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) supporting an emergency meeting of all leaders to plan for the future before we drift back into our old ways of living and doing and being. There is a short window of opportunity which we dare not miss – this is urgent.
PLEASE, if you haven’t yet signed THIS OPEN LETTER and SHARED it as widely as possible, do it for the sake of all the children you know and the billions of children in the world you don’t know, a few of whose photos I will share this week – even if you think the letter won’t achieve anything. At least it can’t do any harm (can it?) but might just be part of the process of change so desperately needed.