Do It For The Children

BY ON October 26, 2011

Children playing in a pile of leaves

Twelve-year-old, Severn Suzuki literally brings tears to my eyes when she asks the members of the UN’s Earth Summit:

“Are we even on your list of priorities?”

When Severn was 9 she started the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. ECO raised enough money to send Severn, then 12 years old, to the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. She proceeded to tell decision-makers how their actions and/or inactions, would ultimately affect children. Severn silenced the U.N. She challenges us all, when she asks:

[Severn’s quotes are in bold italics.]

“You grown-ups say you love us, but I challenge you to make your actions reflect your words.”

As a mother, I’ve devoted my life to my children.

“I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what’s in it.

As a member of the MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE, I am committed to cleaning up the air, and keeping it clean for my children, your children and our children’s children.

“I’m only a child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30 million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil — borders and governments will never change that.”

As a writer, I write about protecting the environment because I truly believe every living thing depends upon it.

“At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share – not be greedy. Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?”

As a teacher, I devoted my life’s work to a community of children.

“Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market.”

As a citizen, I support and vote for politicians who will protect our children.

Please watch, listen and join me, and thousands of parents who have signed up with the MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE. Why? Because we know, deep down in the depths of our mommy souls, WE MUST FIGURE THIS OUT FOR THE CHILDREN.

Photo Credit: Ted Fink

TOPICS: Activism, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice

  • Robbie Puglisi

    Thanks so much, Ronnie. Not only was the photo memory you sent along wonderful, but the video was extememly powerful. As the saying goes, “out of the mouths of babes! So often it is the children who say it as it truly is, and who help us all stop and rediscover the important things in life. I’ll pass this along to our faculty at Poughkeepsie Day School.
    Robbie Puglisi
    Kindergarten teacher

  • That photo was taken in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. It’s a photo of Robbie’s daughter (purple hat) and two other classmates of my son, Ben (behind the falling leaves).

    Thanks, Robbie for passing on this important message to your school community! xo

  • Abbie Walston

    Very powerful post. Thank you for sharing this story!

  • It is the children who will be here tomorrow! It is the children that will make change in the future! Good post, keep up your important work!

    Spramani Elaun
    Nature of Art For Kid’s®

  • Phillippa Ewing

    Well done, well said.

  • I hope to share this with my class, too. Thanks, Ronnie!

  • Dominique Browning

    Amazing post. thank you