I talked to my kids about global climate change this week. It was hard to broach the subject. I was embarrassed.
I was afraid they think I don’t want to admit it’s happening, or that I don’t care about it. I wanted them to know I think about it every day. That I’m doing what I can, in my writing, in my work, with my money.
Climate Change is now an emergency. I know this and they know it. But I don’t want my kids to think that because we’re in an emergency there’s no point left in living, no point to doing anything, and that’s why I felt like I had to talk with them, one at a time.
I told each of them that, in an emergency of any kind, there are several responses. One, you can panic. That doesn’t help.
Two, you can pretend that there is no emergency. Nobody in their right mind does that, although some people who aren’t in their right mind do. That’s a good way to get killed fast.
Three, you can do what Mr. Rogers says: “Look for the helpers.” Then you help them. That may not make the emergency go away, but it’s the best thing to do while it’s happening.
The other thing I told them is that feeling like the world is going to end is a lot like being told you only have two years to live. What are your choices? If you have two years, are you going to kill yourself?
No, you enjoy your life. You focus on what’s important. And, to the extent that it’s possible, you fight whatever’s killing you.
Basketball players keep playing hard the last two minutes of a basketball game when the score indicates they mathematically can’t possibly win. Something about how they play this game will impact the way they play the next game. And other people are watching who will be impacted by the game as well.
At this point, it’s not a mathematical certainty we’re going to lose. Not yet. There is no reason to give up and every reason to fight.
My kids were very receptive to what I said. I found out that they talk about this with each other, have their own thoughts about all of this, that they want to live. They see a future of some kind for themselves, just not the one I thought it would be.
They WANT to live. They have no intention of giving up. I can either help, or get out of the way.
As embarrassing as it was to talk about it, they obviously appreciated it. Maybe I didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know. But at least they know we’re in it together.
News from a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books
You can find my two new books, Advice for (Music) Teachers, and Music for Elementary and Middle School Chorus, at the Adam Cole Works store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
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Adam Cole is a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books. Fantasy author, music educator and performer, Adam chats weekly on the subject of listening, creativity and living your best life. To get a free book on marketing tips for passing out fliers, getting on your own radio show, and writing a blog people will read, please go to www.mymusicfriend.net and subscribe.