Second prize - Miriam Campos Acin, 11 years old (Spain)

Almudévar, 1 January 2015

 

World

Earth Street

Universe

 

Dear World,

My name is Miriam. I’m writing this letter because I feel that we, your inhabitants, are treating you very badly. At school, my teacher assigned us a science project on you, so I decided to take an imaginary trip around you, stopping at places where we hear about problems on the news every day. The truth is that I didn’t really know where to start because, wow, there are a lot of places to visit! But I let my imagination roam and set off.

My first stop was the Middle East. There, everything was destroyed, the people were running, terrified, as shots were being fired and bombs dropped. It broke my heart. My Friend, I don’t understand how you can bear so much pain. It must make you so sad to see your inhabitants unable to live in harmony.

I could not stand to spend any more time there, so I teletransported myself to Africa. I was awestruck by the landscape and the wildlife. It was what I had always dreamed of – nature at its purest – but as I walked along, I started to hear the wailing of children, and I thought of the news on TV - children in need of food, drinking water and schools where they can learn all the wonderful things that I learn at my school, the lack of medical facilities to cure diseases like Ebola, which we are hearing so much about.

But I also saw something that I liked and that lifted my spirits. There were many people trying to help them – if only we all had that attitude, these people would have a much greater chance! I would have liked to stay to help, but I had to continue my journey across your land. I told myself that I would try to come back one day.

For my next stop, I decided to take a giant leap to the North Pole. What landscapes! So different from the last but just as spectacular. Then, I remembered what I had seen on TV so many times: temperatures are rising and glaciers in the poles are melting. What then, dear World? Will you be forever flooded? It will have been our fault.

With a thousand misgivings about what I am seeing, I head to my next destination, which is none other than what I have always heard called your “lungs” - the Amazon. I want to see whether the lungs of my friend, the World, are in perfect condition, I thought.

Once again, I was impressed by the beauty of the landscape, but I had only just arrived when I heard a very irritating sound of diggers and chainsaws cutting down tree after tree, trees that give us oxygen. How is this possible, I ask myself?

 

Somewhat disappointed, I decide to end my trip and return home. On my way, I pass by places that are very different from those I have visited and I can see that some people live in luxury, wasting money, although they are not happy either and spend their time arguing. I saw tonnes of food going to waste and large smokestacks polluting the atmosphere.

I finally arrive home with a thousand questions in my head: If you are like this now, dear world, how will you be in a few years when I am older? What can we do to help you? It seems like it won’t be easy because, despite what we hear every day in the media, we don’t want to get involved to help heal you.

Lying in my bed, I start thinking about how I would like to see you in a few years. I see Peace ruling the Earth and War not daring to rear its head. Your major resources being used wisely, and the riches they produce divided equally among all your inhabitants. Kindness, empathy, happiness, friendship, kisses and hugs will abound.

However, for this to happen, we all need to help take care of you, our home. From today, my goal will be to convince my loved ones to pamper you. With a little luck, let’s see if we can create an epidemic where we are all infected with the desire to make our world the best place to live. I hope that the next time I write to you something will have changed, even just a little.

With love,

MIRIAM