Notice to All Adults (First-World Version)
We have posted this on the front door of every elementary and secondary school.
The carpool drivers will see it first, when you pull up and wonder where we are.
You will text a picture to the other parents in your carpool and post it on Facebook and Instagram. It will go viral.
Some will think it is fake news at first, but it will quickly become clear that all children from kindergarten through age 17 are missing. All of us. Even the princes and princesses, the children of presidents and prime ministers, the children of celebrities. The richest and the poorest. Every single one of us.
While you were all shaming and blaming each other, we were working together. All of us. You imagined it; we did it.
While you binge-watched your televisions, we studied space science and physics. We found an uninhabited earth-like planet and developed the technology to get there. Sorry not sorry for letting you think we were just playing video games.
While you entertained each other with your deer face selfies, we studied agriculture, materials science and economics. We are ready to grow food, develop energy and trade without going to war or ruining our environment. Sorry not sorry for letting you think we, too, were just sharing deer face selfies.
While you raced against each other to be the first to post the cleverest political memes in the largest echo chambers, we studied social science and ethics. We have ratified a new constitution and selected our leaders through honest, civil discourse. Sorry not sorry for letting you think we didn’t give a shit.
We took the poor and the third-world school-age children with us because someone had to save them. You weren’t.
You will ask why we left instead of telling you about our discoveries and insights. Seriously, would you have listened to us? Would you have really given us a chance to change the world? Every generation before us, including yours, had the answers. But too many of you got distracted and the few who remained true weren’t enough to fix anything. We left before the same thing happened to us.
With us gone, you have extra everything to share with the poor and third-world adults, babies and preschoolers we left in your care. They are your chance to redeem yourselves.
Our siblings who studied with us but aged out of the project by turning 18 stayed to help you.
Start by talking to each other in your own words.
Solve some problems.
You don’t have to worry about our journey. By the time you are reading this, we have safely arrived at our new residence. We hope it is only temporary. We want our departure and your desire to see us again to shock you out of your current lazy, self-destructive mentality.
We’ll check back with you in 10 years. If you’re doing better, maybe we’ll come home.
Kathy Sanford lives in upstate New York and coastal Georgia with her husband and two senior coonhounds. After retiring from a career of bureaucratic nonfiction, Kathy has returned to the loves and aspirations of her childhood – walking dogs, riding a bicycle, reading, going to the beach and writing fiction. She is surprised to find herself participating in online short story challenges and contests.