In the new book, Letters to My Children, 35 parents, from showbiz actors to athletes to politicians, write to their kids to impart wisdom, affirm their love, and share words of encouragement on how to embrace the future. It is probably one of the few times you'll see these public figures at their most joyful, hopeful, and, yes, vulnerable.
One of the letters featured is by TV host and entrepreneur Paolo Abrera. He is married to Suzi Abrera and is father to three beautiful girls, Leona, Jade and Antonella.
Paolo recounts the memories he's made with his girls, including those that happened within the beauty of Mother Nature -- at the beach, under the stars and in the mountains. Just like his daughters, the Earth, he says is our treasure. This is his letter in full.
Dear Leona, Jade, and Nella,
You probably know me as just your dad -- the guy who goes to work very early in the day for a morning show, the guy who hosts Green Living, the guy who makes you fun stuff usually from recycled materials, the guy who nags you to close the lights, and the same guy you sometimes nag back to close the lights when he forgets to do so! (The last point is most important because that means what we’re trying to do is working. Haha!)
Girls, we live in a changing world, one with finite resources, one with a hole in the ozone layer, one with melting polar ice caps, one with so much garbage it’s choking all of us. I know you’re aware, and I know you’ve seen it. But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s also a world filled with many beautiful things and beautiful places -- a few of which we’ve had the good fortune to see.
Remember the times we spent at the beach, sunny days playing in the sand and addling out on the water in a kayak in Cebu? That wonderful rainforest walk we took in Australia, the times we hand-fed the deer in Japan, and the time you roasted marshmallows in your cousins’ backyard in the blue mountains and counted the stars…Those are my happiest memories. Memories of a beautiful world shared with you. And it’s not too late to keep it that way.
I found that the best contribution is to do your part in whatever small way you can: segregate your trash like we do at home, bring your reusable bags when you buy groceries, bike when you can instead of taking the car, and more importantly, use whatever talents you have to lend a hand.
In the past, I often asked myself, “What can I do to make a difference so that the world stays a little bit kinder, a little bit cleaner, and a little bit greener for my children?” I’m not a scientist who’s smart enough to come up with equations for computing our carbon footprint, nor am I an inventor who can invent a new green energy source. I’ll never be a president who can make laws to close down our coal-power plants. I work in television.
And though it wasn’t clear to me at first, I eventually found that my best contribution was to take advantage of whatever talents I had to offer and come up with a show that talked about how easy it can be to do the “little things that all add up.” Green Living has been an ongoing passion for me and is my way of helping our environment. Like I said, the show is about the little things, and it’s those little things we can do every day that count. And that’s what we’ve tried to model for you.
I won’t be around forever, and I hope long after I’m gone there will be days when you think back to those happy memories at the beach, in the forest, and in the mountains. Maybe think of those days we shared as you and your children share a similar experience. If you are able to do that, that means we succeeded. The world is still a good place, and those little things we taught you to do have made a difference. Maybe those little habits we had at home rubbed off on you, maybe those tips we shared on Green Living showed a few other people how easy it could be to make greener choices, and maybe those people influenced a few other people who inspired a bunch of other people to think about making better choices for the environment, and so on and so forth.
You’ve all been blessed with your own talents, so use those talents to make your small contribution to what we believe in: a world that can be a better place if we care enough to be conscious about the environment. That’s why we do what we do. We do it for you girls. So that one day you may share the same joys we’ve had with you when you have children of your own -- at a beach, on a mountain, or under the stars.
Like the Earth, you are our treasures, Papa
Published by Summit Books, Letters to My Children (P295) is available at your favorite book store.