Date: 22nd July, 2123

To The Finder of this Letter,

My name is Mahut, and I am the last surviving human being on the planet earth. My age is 17 years old, and after me there are no more to come.

This story is left as an expression of my final hope that compassionate people will once again – perhaps a million years from now – thrive here. It is my wish that this planet will repair itself, that its compassionate people will find the creativity to build for themselves a different future, and that they will have the courage that my ancestors did not to change their own history.

The story I have to tell is the story of how we killed our children. It is passed down to me by my grandmother's grandmother's grandmother, who was here in the war of 2003. Some say it started before her time, but 2003 was when the end began. In March of that year we commenced killing our children in earnest.

Three years into the war, at least 655 500 children had been killed, with many more injured, as a direct result of the war. Nurses, doctors, journalists and photographers of the time told the story of children left orphaned, maimed, starving and diseased. Never-ending rows of children, laid out on hospital beds, floors and mortuary slabs. Often cruel, and always violent, rates of brutality towards children and their mothers had increased three-fold after the war begun. Those who were not stoned to death, burned alive, raped, or enslaved were likely to be one of the 400 000 at any point in time who were denied food and water. Within a political landscape of oppression and betrayal, all that was left for the brave to do was to bear witness and provide comfort to the butchered and dying children.

The people of the time had been told that the war was a moral one, fought in the name of ideals such as freedom and equality for all. A hundred and fifty years has now passed. With the privilege of time, we are now in no doubt that the war was begun to quench the thirst for oil. The thick liquid, mined from the ground for a hundred years had, at the time become more central to life than the blood that carried oxygen through our veins. For love of oil, we had exchanged an exquisite planet of wonder. We had severed our earth's ability to produce food, and annihilate the biological web which we depended on for our existence. In most of the world, oil dictated the terms of commerce. The processing and transport of the food an average family ate depended on ten times as much oil as they consumed in their cars each year. Oil had, for the human race, excluded all other ways of living.

As the demand for oil rose, and production declined, the governments of the time made a $2 trillion dollar investment to monopolise the location of the world's oil supplies. Under the cloak of freedom, children in the Middle East were annihilated. Most countries were not only willing to kill the children of others, but with great pomp they sacrificed their own young people, barely more than teenagers, and future generations in the fight for oil.

Their real heroism was demonstrated on returning home when they spoke out in droves against the profiteering and illegal motives underpinning the war in Iraq.

And so it was for oil that all of us were willing to sacrifice our children, our planet and the survival of our species.

Being the last person on this earth now offers me a strange sort of hope. With the end of my kind, comes the promise of a tomorrow filled with new possibilities. I imagine the next age, the age after oil, will be the age of creativity. In this age, not only will we live more harmoniously, but we will live more creatively.

I imagine that even though the people of the new age may face dependencies on resources or lifestyles, that they will also have the courage to change what needs to be changed before it is too late. They will be willing to look for small, but powerful ways to reduce the dependencies in their own lives.

For my ancestors this would have meant - perhaps - walking instead of driving, reducing plastics, perhaps growing lettuce in a pot rather than buying it from a producer 300 kilometres away.

The new people would never think that simplicity is ineffective. They would understand that the simplest changes carry the greatest power. They would never sacrifice children for oil. Nor, I imagine, will the people of the future allow themselves to feel hopeless in the face of leaders who torment children in pursuit of their own self-gratification, greed and revenge. Instead, they will seek ways of peacefully exposing the betrayal of children to as many people as possible.

My ancestors had extraordinary creativity, with the potential to create a flourishing world beyond imagination. Therefore, above all else I hope that whatever creative potential is given to the people of tomorrow that they are also blessed with the courage and the compassion required to use it.

Yours with hope,


This article is dedicated to the remaining journalists who dare to report with integrity, and to the hundreds of thousands of children of war whose voices they represent.

Please feel free to visit this author's website at: where you will find a bibliography for this article, and links to relevant non-profit organisations and other resources focussing on making a difference for children who are affected by war.

Please note that the copy of the original article on the author's website includes photographs that depict the reality of the impact of war on children. The author is happy to send you an "image free" version of this article if you prefer.

This article is licensed under the Creative Commons system. You are free to reprint, transmit and store this article under certain conditions. These can be found at

Author's Bio: 

Mary Campbell is the author of "Ten Principles of a Creative Life", and the Creative Life wesbite. Mary has 18 years experience working in remote, third world and war-affected communities with abused and traumatised children.