What World Will You Leave to Your Descendants?

Last month was the first anniversary of my husband’s death and I had a lovely day thinking about what he meant to me and how much he had made an impact on the world.

Bob certainly left a legacy in his work by designing a structural engineering program that helps create stronger airplanes and bridges and cars.

He also had an impact on the earth when he walked in the mountains, leaving the smallest footprint he could. In fact, he made it a habit of picking up trash as he hiked in the hills he loved, often coming home with pockets full of junk others had left behind.

His life was reflected in the idea of an earth for which we are all responsible as noted by Adlai Stevenson many years ago:

“We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent upon its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, committed for our safety to its security and peace, preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of mankind, half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew, can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.”

I have tried to also do my part to protect the earth and the people on it. I hope that the many words I’ve written, and the love I have tried to share, enrich the lives of others so they, too, will recognize the need to protect this precious planet — the only earth we have.

Several years ago I wrote a poem that expresses my feelings about taking care of the earth. You can read it at When I Am Gone and can also see a slide show about the earth that my children, your children and all our descendants will inherit — and our need to protect it.

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