Dear FridaysForFuture

This is a letter of appreciation and respect.

First, let me start with something I consider both an encouragement and a plea: keep on going. Keep on marching. We need you. It’s obvious that we need you because we need our planet. And there is even more we need you for.

With wholeheartedly saving our planet we will finally put people* in the center. Not as a marketing slogan, but for real. We will care for people and our needs. (And not for money.) Or maybe it is the other way round. By really putting people in the center of our attention and efforts we are saving the planet. Because we need the planet.

Maybe, probably, there is no „this way or that way“. The endeavor you lent your voice to is one big thing. Planet and people will be saved together — or (!) not.

The word „and“ is a powerful word. I consider it the most important word of our times.

Should we save the environment or jobs?
Should you go to school or to demonstrations?

„And“ opens up possibilities. It unites forces. Many philosophers have stressed its power. Still, apparently we focus on comparison and competition: „Is it you or me?“

While fighting against each other we waste precious capacities for fighting for the greater good. This is true for an endless list of situations. For pursuing a project at work („Let’s try my strategy, not his’!“), for campaigning a specific interest („Let’s save the whales!“), and definitely for the topic you are making a top priority.**

Don’t get me wrong. Your strategy might be the better one and we truly need to save the whales. But — isn’t there something in your co-workers strategy that could be helpful? And what about all the other animals? A good friend of mine is an insider in social campaigning. She is struck by the fighting, by the „who is more important to be supported, whales or dolphins? Physically or mentally challenged people? Syrians or Ethiopians?“

It’s not OR. It’s AND.

In fighting against each other we are dominated by our egos. A healthy future though doesn’t belong to the ego. The future belongs to the community. „Drop the „e“ and go!“, I read a while ago.***

Parents often say they learn the most from their children. You, dear FridaysForFutures, are the children of our society. And you can teach us to overcome our egos. (Yes, also your egos. We’re in this together.)

We know enough to do this. There is scientific, philosophic and spiritual advice out there. Everyone can find a way to join and foster the process of maturing.

It’s simple. (Not to confound with easy.) Start with three things.

1. Whenever you catch a „this OR that?“-question, pause for a moment to check if AND is an alternative. (Treat sentences of others and your own alike.)

2. Be prepared for failing — and don’t get yourself down because of it. Instead

3. Whenever you see or hear something good, appreciate it (no matter who did it, your friend, your opponent or you yourself). Focus on the strengths and strengthen them. This way there will be no room left for the weaknesses.

Do you watch or even play soccer? A while ago, players started to gesture a „thumbs up!“ to other players who had missed a ball or misdirected a pass. You know, they don’t do it to applaud bad performance. They do it to appreciate that somebody tried something good and to keep themselves going — their team and themselves. All that with one simple gesture.

Yes. We need you. And you need us. We all need all of us, collaborating and cooperating. This isn’t kitsch. It’s future.

Thumbs up!


*People = humans. If we really care for humans we care for human needs and create conditions to live well and peacefully — together with all living beings.

**I just learned about political Germany that there has never been an absolute right-winged majority in parliaments. In the 1930s the Nazis won because the other parties were not standing together against them.

***If you know the source of that quote, please let me know.

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