Recently, I was a guest on the Green Divas Radio Show hosted by Green Diva Meg (aka Megan McWilliams). Meg and I are both grandparents who have become quite involved in climate action. During the interview, I was able to tell my story—about a grandfather who has turned climate activist. I wish to thank Green Diva Meg and Green Diva Lynn (aka Lynn Hasselberger)—the two Green Divas who have made this experience possible.
Listen to my Green Dude podcast then continue on to read more of my story…
I became a grandfather for the first time in the summer of 2005. I didn’t quite know what to expect. Life doesn’t really prepare you for this role. Why, it seems just like yesterday that I was a grandkid sitting next to my grandfather on his swing, moments I have always cherished. I now have four grandkids of my own, ranging in age from five to nine years old.
Parents nowadays are so focused on the busy-ness of raising children, driving them around to activities, homework, shopping… and let’s not forget their job or profession. Parents are just plain exhausted. Intimate time with their children is often hard to find and, of course, parents need their own time as a couple. Welcome to the 21st century grandkids.
As a grandfather, I had the unique opportunity and privilege of sharing my life experience and philosophy of life through what I do and say to my grandkids– modeling by my attitudes and actions. That would be my role as a grandfather I said to myself. I have the time to do this and it’ll be fun I thought.
I had just retired when my grandchildren were born. With retirement came a period of introspection, self-evaluation and questioning. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? What does it all mean? How much time do I have? How can I get involved? There is so much to do. Where do I start?
And then one day, I read this poem by Drew Dillinger:
It’s 3:23 in the morning, and I’m awake because my great, great, grandchildren won’t let me sleep.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams
What did you do, while the planet was plundered?
What did you do, when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing as the mammals, reptiles and birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
I needed to seek the truth, however disconcerting, inconvenient or troubling it might be. I’m not sure precisely when I knew that we’re destroying our planet. But I knew that I had to do something about it. For my grandchildren. And NOW!
For the first time, I recognized the gravity of the climate crisis facing humanity. I sensed the urgency for taking action. I could not stand by and watch the incessant degradation of our environment and escalating global warming and climate change.
The end result of my evolution to climate activist is BoomerWarrior, a website focused on the environment, climate change, energy, water, global warming and climate reality. More specifically, it’s about…
1. Raising Awareness to the vast challenges we face
2. Coming to Our Senses
3. Creating a Sense of Urgency to galvanize people into positive activism
4. Improving Our Legacy–the type of world our children and grandchildren will inherit
5. Provoking change and Resisting the forces of denial, complacency, apathy and inaction
This is what it means for me to be a “retired” grandparent. No matter what your age, I hope you’ll join me in taking climate action. For our grandchildren.
Listen to the latest Green Divas Radio Show…
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September 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm
Those 5 steps are crucial for raising a helpful and hopeful generation. I love your point about building a legacy to share on through the generations! Keep it up, they will do great!
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