Letter to My Future Son - an Apology

Dear son (whose name I cannot reveal yet.)

You are going to be born in the next few days to a world of great wonders, great possibilities and incredible people. I envy you.

You get to be born to a time of great discoveries, where information is at your finger tips. To most peaceful time in human history. To a time with declining global poverty.  To a time where many of the deadliest diseases have been conquered. At least in the developed world.

You will be amazed by things that I can’t even imagine yet and things that I can imagine but have no idea how they will work. The sum total of human knowledge will be available to you with a quick “Hey Alexa/google/computer/whatever”.
You will not have to fight in a war if you choose not to. You will not starve and you will not be of a very high risk of contracting deadly viruses.


But I also want to apologise for the state of the world. We have come a long way. But there is still so much more to go.

There are still people who do not have access to clean water or three meals a day. Whilst many cannot finish their five course meals.
There are those who do not have access to medicines or cannot afford them whilst there are those who choose not to vaccinate and bring down our herd immunity. Perhaps even worse often these people now travel to those places and spread fear about vaccines and medicine.
Many lives are displaced by wars and many are killed in conflicts everyday. Whilst we sit at home numbed to the horrors of war as we consistently hear and see reports from areas where conflicts seem endless and eternal.
Many choose to believe rather than to know. Anti-elitism has spread and mutated in an anti-expert position.

“Of course that doctor thinks acupuncture/cupping/therapeutic touch/homeopathy doesn’t work. They are part of Big Pharma.”

“Of course that bio-chemist defends GMOs they are shills for Monsanto.”

“Of course those scientists want to teach evolution, they’re satanists.”

Often these positions are endorsed by celebrities. Thus the ignorance spreads like virus, infecting the minds of the next generation, regardless of intelligence.


Even our accomplishments are degraded these days. Claims of Moon landing hoaxes. Attempts to discredit the findings of the worlds greatest physicist. Even our discovery of our place in the universe is apparently now up for public debate.

I’m sorry.

You will be born into a country that only afforded it’s indigenous population the right to vote less than 50 years ago. But it could have been worse, could’ve been thirty years ago if white nationalists had gotten their way in 1968.

You will be born into a country where you mother wasn’t allowed to box in her home state because for some reason female boxers needed to be protected more than male boxers. Thankfully your mother herself changed that state law.

That’s not your Mum in the article, I know you know this it’s more for everyone else. But that is the only news article I could find on the topic. Which says something about the news of the time. And now I guess.

Unfortunately you will also be born at a time when Same-sex Marriage is outlawed in your homeland. This will hopefully change before you turn one. But if it fails. We may have to wait until you can vote before the decision comes round again. Hopefully this will be before Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City allow it. Otherwise that will be super embarrassing. Although it’s already pretty embarrassing that the Republic of Ireland, the USA and Italy (pretty much) allowed it before us.

There are still a great deal of civil rights issues around the world; slavery, misogyny, female infanticide, ignoring of LGBTIQA rights including just the right to exist.


But each generation has done what we can to make things better. Now it will be you and your generations turn. Each new generation is embarrassed by the ones who came before it. And that is how it should be. The challenge will be yours. Make the world better than what we did. GO TO IT.


Joseph Paul John McCarthy

Joseph Paul John McCarthy

Joseph Paul John McCarthy has wanted to be a writer since before he could write.. He was a long time film reviewer for as well as reviewing film scripts for their monthly competitions. He has one self published book - The Science-Based Baby Book for Skeptical Parents and a novel which will definitely be published any decade now. He had an aneurysm and died on September 10 2015, but thanks to medical science he got better.
  • Dee Warner

    Fantastic letter Joseph. I have to say, you can’t shoulder the blame for the ignorance in the community. If you raised your son under a veil ignorance then you would need to apologise. But you’re clearly going to raise a child who is allowed to know, allowed to learn, allowed to think, and allowed to formulate his own opinions knowing that his father will support him no matter what. You’ve already nailed a huge parenting hurdle there. Be proud of that.

    I wish you and the Mom to be the very best of luck for the big event. Can’t wait to hear your nappy news! 😀

    • Joseph Paul John McCarthy

      Thanks Dee,
      Great perspective. A lot of it is just my own anxiety. Which I need to acknowledge.
      Just going to do our best.

      I love the term nappy news. I’m stealing that 😁

  • Anh Ha

    This is beautiful. And heartfelt.
    Sharing it hehe

  • Danielle

    Beautifully said. I imagine your son reading this at 18 but I have trouble imagining what our world will be like by that time.