Mark Spiske/Unsplash

You are 16 years old and already so aware of your own destiny. I am happy you have found your mission quite early in life. I can relate so much to what you’ve gone through. After writing an essay on climate change and winning an essay-writing competition sponsored by a Swedish newspaper, you have gone on to put your ideas and advocacy into action right away. You didn’t waste time. What a remarkable child you are!

I did something similar when I was 12, winning an essay-writing competition sponsored by my school. I wrote about building shelters for the homeless using mud to make the homes eco-friendly. But unlike you, I didn’t do anything after that. I collected my fancy gold medal and hung it in my room. I don’t know where my medal is anymore. No one remembers.

And because I didn’t do anything, the current of life didn’t come and push me towards my destiny. My inaction then, and even up to now, has not allowed the waves of universal energy to come and take me to where I needed to go. I will remain unremarkable, but that’s okay. I no longer care so much about making a mark in the world when younger ones like yourself are doing so much better! I am grateful and thankful that you, and many other like-minded youth, have taken the slack with so much grace and intelligence belying your years!

If I’d done what you did back in my country, I would’ve been laughed at and called names so much more than you. I don’t have a thick skin and suffer many anxieties deeply. I would’ve broken down and been admitted to a mental asylum long ago. People who stick out for what they believe in get hammered down hard in our passivity-worshipping society. And I guess, compared to facilities in North America, our mental health facilities back home are severely underfunded and not in the greatest shape. I would’ve suffered a slow death there, like some people I have been heartbroken to know and love.

Anyway, I write this to take advantage of some momentum around your visit to Vancouver today, hoping that the waves of life will take my message to you and speak to your heart and mind. I will be one of hundreds, if not thousands, braving the rain and wind to trek to Vancouver Art Gallery today and cheer you on. My 12-year old daughter Sofie and I will be two droplets in a sea of good intentions, bringing you to where you need to go.

I’m sure you’re aware that when you say no to fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, you are creating space for Big Tech to sell us climate change technology that may potentially be even more damaging than the one It intended to replace. I pray that the Universe will be kinder to you, and steer you away from that endless abyss of opportunistic predation.

With love and blessings,

Peach Abubakar-Quebral

British Columbia