It is a sunless and snowless December here in Montreal and from my window the city looks like a sea of grey fog with islands of soggy red brick poking through. On the news, reports on terrorism are followed by stories about refugees and my Facebook feed is loudly complaining of the lack of Christmas mood.
It is the eve of my daughter’s second Christmas and I can’t help but wonder what kind of world will she be living in. Will there be snow and change of seasons? Will there be enough water to drink? Clean air to breathe? Forests to get lost in? Will there be sea turtles, migrating birds, monarch butterflies? Will there be the wild, the beautiful, the unpolluted, the undisturbed?
Will there be peace on earth and good will to men? My daughter is one of the lucky few, though she does not know it yet. She was born in one of the best countries of the world. She will grow up in safety, she will always have enough food and warm clothes, access to education and healthcare. She will have freedom and choice: she will decide what she wants to do and who she wants to be. She will be free to go places, do things, meet people. But what about the others? Will she hide behind a wall protecting her from the less fortunate ones? Will she fear and hate the people who look different, date different, believe different? Who will she care for? What will she care about?
My head is buzzing with all sorts of questions, projects and anxieties. The truth is, I’ve never been so afraid of the future, than since I have a daughter. And I’ve never been so excited too. I’ve never believed so firmly that decisions I make and things I do, however small and insignificant, shape my daughter’s future. Who I vote for, what I do with my garbage, what I eat, with whom I stand, where my clothes are made, when I raise my voice and when I remain silent – it all matters.
Merry Christmas! Be brave, love the ones you love, do good. May your world and mine be a little kinder, safer, happier, and a little more magical next year.