culture

An Open Letter To The Generation Before Us

October 08, 2019 – Nicole Tengco

You left us a world where nature is dwindling. With all the advances made over the past century, you failed to see the consequences of progress. Species after species disappear from the face of the earth. Trees wither away by your hands, only for concrete to stand in their places. 

Global warming is increasing at an alarming rate and our glaciers, intact for millions of years, melt each passing day. The sea levels rise higher and as a direct result, thousands of islands disappear. 

The ocean, which provides for us in countless ways, has been decorated by trails of our endless waste. There is snow in deserts and dry spells in once green and thriving lands. 

Creatures suffer. World wonders die. The world is turning into a wasteland and yet plastics litter our waters and forests are subjected to fire and illegal activities to build more infrastructures, more things to consume, all in the name of progress. 

You have built a technological world, and everything we seek, according to you, can be grasped in a matter of seconds. 

You feed us with evergreen models of technology, from mobile phones to content, anything to keep our minds preoccupied - but we want no more of it. Seek your fate, follow your dreams, and be free, you say, but what’s this world to be on the morrow? What of our dreams, our future, and our freedom, if there is no life left to live? We don’t need any more of your worldly pursuits, because we know by now you’re motivated by power and greed, driving forces of what made you forget what it means to be human. You may have forgotten what runs into your very veins – we need trees and animals and clear waters. We, your children, continue to hold on to something beautiful we cannot create, to remind us of our fading humanity. We cling to what remains.

You left us a world teeming with unending wars. We watch as the feelings hatred and resentment take over, trying desperately to curb it. You constantly condemn and toss aside those people you deem different from the norm, like our families from the LGBTQ+ community. We can never make sense of your beliefs, but at times we’re under the impression that you blatantly ignore a glaring fact – they’re human beings, made of the very same flesh as you, deserving of everything just as much as you do. And there are more of these instances, directed towards people with different skin colors, too. Why should they be perceived as lesser, and treated like you’re well and above? Those Nazis we only know from history books walk among us once again, seeking to wreak havoc and reinstate their rotten ideals. Black people face the threat of death, and minorities hide, terrified of being torn away from their homes. And those who seek solace in better lands are barred from entry, forced to live behind walls. The poor continue to suffer and grovel, while your greedy hands conquer and consume. Religion, too, has become the center of animosity – how hard is it to respect each other’s beliefs? Women continue to be assaulted in varying degrees, left with little to fight for the justice they deserve. It seems that being a woman is a curse, and even with progress made, the torch remains to be on the hands of this system of patriarchy. 

We don’t understand. Why are we constantly reminded to be vigilant, instead of being taught not to hurt each other? The people we look to for direction, the so-called world leaders, fight and bicker like children. The world becomes one big game of point-the-nuclear-weapon, while other lesser nations tremble with fear. People drop dead in the streets without due process, stripped off of their rights. We try to make it better, but you decided you needed leaders to further initiate destruction. The powerful scramble for more power and the only thing that makes us human is put out. There is little love left.

This is such a cold, dark place. This thing you make us go through, education, has become a toxic cycle of pride and reduced into mere good sets of numbers, defeating its initial purpose of learning. You forget about the artists with passions soaring, dismissing and convincing them to choose careers that “pay”. You blame us for refusing to build families when we can’t afford to support our own backs. Finding a job is a challenge and no degree means no access to a better future. The pressure you put on us to make the world better is enormous. And yet, you constantly remark that we don’t understand and blame us for the further destruction of the world. We are called selfish but you turn blind eyes to our fight for the environment. You call us temperamental brats when we understand that violence, hatred, and greed only bring misery – and our imminent demise. We are only labels in your minds. 

You blame us for being angry, you blame us for trying to save what you’ve stolen. But we understand more than what you think, and we see how terrible of a world ours is becoming. You left us with a fallen home we’re desperately trying to salvage and we don’t know what to do.  


Nicole oscillates about two engines; one that writes and one that paints. She occasionally flings herself at random moments of adventures, in which she spends half the time scouring areas for freshly baked cookies and coffee. Someday, with tiny fragments of faith and friends along the way, she hopes to change what ought to be changed. 



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