Welcome to water4everyone.

no need to fear the future – script

Children are confronted with a lot of concerns today that, frankly, I never had to deal with when I was a kid. Paul Simon wrote a song to comfort his daughter at bedtime. He sang: “I believe the light that shines on you will shine on you forever.” I believe the same thing – and my message to you today is this: The one resource we will never run out of is you – your imagination, your creativity, your wonder and hope.  Each new generation has specific challenges to face, but just remember this:

There are no unsolvable problems.

My father’s generation ate problems for breakfast. They built a road across the entire continent. When a giant canyon appeared in their path they did not whine or whimper – they invented a bridge. In every field of science and medicine and exploration, at the edge of every chasm, they built a bridge. This is your lineage . . . You will do the same. There is no limit to your imagination.
Many people will tell you there isn’t enough — that we’re running out, that things are getting worse, and the future will be less than today. This is not true.

Some people have forgotten that a problem is something to be solved, not feared. Have you heard the story about the truck that got stuck in a tunnel?. . . A big ‘ol truck was roaring towards New York City when it rammed into the Lincoln Tunnel at 70 miles per hour The truck was too tall and got very extremely stuck and the cars backed up for miles. You can imagine the traffic jam. The fire department showed up to help. Then the Army Corps of Engineers — along with many others. With cranes and saws and jackhammers all tried to get the truck unstuck from the tunnel. But to no avail. Finally, after several hours, an 8 year old girl walked up from the long line of cars and said,

“Why don’t you just let the air out of the tires?”

You are today – all kids all over the world — you are the brilliant ones who will say, “Why don’t you let the air out of the tires?” There are no unsolvable problems. Let me give an example: Every week we hear about the ‘World Water Shortage’ — yet alongside these stories we see photos of floods … What gives?

A friend of mine says, “If we catch the rain that creates the floods, there would be no water shortage, there would be more than enough for everyone. He’s always reminding me that “There isn’t a shortage of water given, just a shortage of water received.”
If every school caught the rain that fell on its roof, kids all around the world would have plenty of clean water to drink. It’s as simple as letting the air out of the tires.We are told there’s a shortage of water, but what we really have is an abundance . . . a flood. Enough water is freely given for all if we simply put a bucket under a rainstorm. And enough energy is freely given from the sun and the wind and the ocean and the earth.

You do not need to fear the future, you are the future.

And I see no limit to the creative ideas that will come to you in this lifetime. It is a great and exciting time to be alive and I believe “The light that shines on you today will shine on you forever.”  Let it rain . . . Life is good . . . So be it

* This is text of speech I wrote for the Youth Environmental Summit in Kobe, Japan, 2008. Dennis Haysbert delivered this keynote address. In gratitude, the Summit organizers donated funds to install rainwater harvesting systems on several schools in Western Kenya.

Comments are closed.