Letter to My Granddaughter: Part 3

Letter to My Granddaughter: Part 3

By Roger Payne

Hi Dear Luna,

It was so late last night [4:00 AM] when I sent my email to you that I forgot to include the very essence of what I had wanted to say, which was to send you a short article and video about Greta Thunberg, a Swedish, 16-year-old girl who is changing the world. Rather than hear me rehash her successes, please have a look at this video:


It is one of the most powerful speeches I’ve heard; it fills me with hope. It is a classic example of how massive the contribution by women can be—even women in their teens. Her wisdom is extraordinary. She has created a movement that is already sweeping Europe and North America and, I would guess, will soon sweep across much of the rest of the world. Please have a look at the video of her speaking and tell me what you think of how well she focuses on the fierce necessity of taking action.

One of the most interesting outcomes of her movement is the adult leaders who have managed to trip over Greta Thunberg’s message and find themselves on the wrong side of the issue. The head of the EU in Brussels is an example as is Teresa May, prime minister of Great Britain, who made a fool of herself criticizing Greta Thunberg’s movement. And so did Diane Feinstein, a democratic congressperson from California who has done wonderful things over several decades in the US Congress, but completely blew it when a class of young students and their teachers occupied her office in an effort to get her to take stronger action on the environment. She spoke down to them, talking about how she had a lifetime of experience that they lacked and that they should learn to listen and to leave it up to her and her plans for a greener world. Here’s a 2-minute video of the unfortunate exchange:


After having thus blown it completely, Feinstein soon realized her mistake and by the following day was back-peddling madly, trying to spin her reaction at the meeting so her words would do less damage to her than they clearly are doing (damage that will dog her for a long time). I could only wish she had faced up to her mistake, admitted her guilt and requested forgiveness.

Very disappointing, but a wonderful example that the time for people my age has come, and been, and gone, while the time for people of your age is here—and not just people your age, but, particularly, young women of your age. Notice, for example that in these most important actions it is girls who are leading; you see damn few young boys of that age group (boys your age are most notable by their absence). So that’s the message that I managed to omit last night when my brain was fuzzed with fatigue: the time is here for your generation, and for your gender to lead.

So… Go For It!!

Sending Love,


© Roger Payne

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