Thursday, October 22, 2020

Letter to My 11-Year-Old Self

Dear Young Doug,


It has been 58 years since we were together, but I thought of you today because I voted and remembered something you wrote all those years back. 


“It was early on a November morning when Old Sol, my natural alarm clock, beckoned me to reluctantly arise. I was in a daze until the chirping of the woodland creatures put me out of it. It was then when I realized that the future may depend on today. For today was the day to select leaders in various states, cities and our country. 


I am grateful that our nationwide leaders provided the ideology of almost everyone being allowed to vote freely. Children or newcomers are not allowed to vote for they do not know the necessary facts. Children have to be over twenty-one years old and newcomers have to become citizens.


I pray that the right man or woman be selected to continue our government of democracy, so our future will be one of peace."


You were the Assistant Editor of the elementary school’s annual “literary magazine,” The Harrison Echoes and this was your editorial. Looking back all those years, I was impressed by four things:


1) Your attempt at poetic imagery and some connection with the seasonality of the natural world. 


2) Your emerging understanding of our duty as responsible and responsive citizens to vote to actively shape a worthy future.


3) Your inclusion of “man or woman” as eligible to “continue our government of democracy”—and timely as today I voted for a man and woman.


4) Your hope for peace.                   


Reading the rest of the magazine, I was struck that the other kids wrote little pieces about bicycle safety, fire safety, their pets and so on. All of which was fine and make sense, but I could feel you already so young stretching for something a bit larger. (Except for Lindy Nimy, who wrote: “Peace is like a quiet stream moving over ignorance and hatefulness.” Good one, Linda!). 


At any rate, young Doug, just want to let you know that those emerging sensibilities kept growing and more than ever, “I pray that the right man or woman be selected to continue our government of democracy, so our future will be one of peace." May it be so.

Your friend,

Old Doug



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