Greta, Darling…..

So, Greta wins “PERSON OF THE YEAR” according to Time Magazine’s criteria. I know that many are quick to jump and say she doesn’t deserve it, but I would have to disagree.

Their pick of the year has little to do with popularity, nor even adoration, but usually someone that describes a definite duality in divinity. The people they choose for this prestigious cover are considered either villains or heroes to an almost biblical level. These are not middle ground people, these are people that are loved or hated, saints or sinners. Nothing in between.

And while many congratulated the decision, and others condemned the decision…I can’t help but feel some truly deep sorrow for you, Greta.

You have peaked at 16. You are now done. When Time Magazine made you Person of the Year, they destroyed you. They put you on the same list of people that instigate, but do not help to collaborate. A list of people that make news because of their bombastic rhetoric….

And maybe that is precisely why you deserve that (ahem) prestigious media award.

Greta, darling….You are no Samantha Smith. I’m sure you’ve heard of her. I’m sure comparisons have already been made.  But, for those of you not as wise as Greta’s handlers, I’ll give a little summary about Samantha Smith.

You see, when I was younger I looked up lovingly and longingly to this girl about my age who was doing activism in the 80’s. She wrote a letter to our enemy, to Yuri Andropov. It was not filled with screams of demands, but filled with a delightful, loving interest in discussion.

While we had nuclear weapons poised and ready to ensure mutually assured destruction, she didn’t bat a lash when asking her enemy, the head of the Soviet empire, if he would at least talk to her.

And a huge chunk of the world took notice. This little girl wrote such a compelling desire for peace between us that she became a saint. She didn’t strike, she didn’t refuse conversation *(Greta, you told Trump there was nothing you had to say to him). No, she asked for open dialogue. She never insisted, she never demanded. She never screeched, “How dare you!” She whispered in writing, so innocently:

“Dear Mr. Andropov,

My name is Samantha Smith. I am 10 years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren’t please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like it if you would. Why do you want to conquer the world or at least our country? God made the world for us to share and take care of. Not to fight over or have one group of people own it all. Please lets do what he wanted and have everybody be happy too.

Samantha Smith”

As far as I can tell? She was never on Time Magazine’s Person of the Year because she wasn’t a very aggressive, militant and divisive political group known for ultimatums and dangerous violence if there was no cooperation.

Greta, darling….THAT is why you are on the list….because you rallied people behind you to fight your enemies.

Samantha Smith did everything she could to rally people behind finding peace with your enemy.

I have been warned, told, that since you are a 16 year old child with a mental disorder that I’m supposed to take you seriously, or treat you like an idiot savant. I’m not allowed to challenge you, so say society….

But, Greta, darling….I’m going to challenge you to think an awful lot about the people around you. Your asset to them is not unity in humanity, it is not global handshakes and solutions. Your asset to many is the exploitation of your anger. You are far more valuable as an instigator, rather than a collaborator.

And that is why they all agreed that you, of all people, should be on the cover of Time Magazine. Peaceful solutions don’t make money. If we were to solve problems, people would start losing money in the ever so profitable scam called “activism.”

To them, your anger over climate change is worth your mentally ill weight in gold.

I pray that the older you get, you’ll find the help you need, I hope you’ll start to reach out, that you’ll begin to learn that there is a world that will listen comfortably to you, if you were to approach us with a kind and innocent comfort. Because I feel in my heart of hearts that you do believe beautifully in saving our world….

I know what it’s like to have a mental illness. And I assure you that I learned in a very difficult way that people will take advantage of your mental illness for their own gain. I pray that you learn at 16 what it took me nearly 4 decades to finally comprehend.

My issue isn’t with you, Greta, darling. It is with those that seek to profit from you for their own selfish interests….

And “God Jul,” Greta. God Jul.

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  1. Sorry Greg, but Aspergers Syndrome isn’t the same as Mental Illness. One is to do with how your brain is wired up from infancy (Aspergers) and one isn’t. I know people with both issues and they truly should not be confused.

    I understand your concerns about Greta, anyone that age with such a huge level of media interest is going to be lauded, then mocked, going from saint to pariah usually within a few years and that probably will have an effect on her mental health (separate from her Aspergers).

    An interesting opinion piece. Thankyou.

    1. I appreciate your comment so much. Thank you….but, I wanted to go ahead and mention that I never said her mental illness was Asperger’s. That is not the mental illness to which I refer in my post. No, not at all….

      1. Hi Gregory, then what “mental illness” are you referring to? I need to have more specificity. Perhaps I am dense, but I need clarification. Thoughtful piece, and I disagree. She is young, and she may be chosen again by Time to be person of the year in her future. I think it is judgmental to say that she has “peaked” because of the media attention now. FDR was chosen 3 times by Time to be person of the year..

  2. Igot your gist on the mental illness. Thank you for your thoughtful piece.
    I admit I did not pay any attention to this child. From what I gleaned from others she acted out as a rude and disrespectful child. Yes child. With Asoergers She can’t process what follows. She can’t sequence. She seems to have reacted to other’s reactionary and non-inclusuive rabble rousing. At her age there is little experience to form opinions and make logical thought. She seemed to forge ahead with one thought. Very. Typical.
    The world has always been at war with itself. Since God gave the earliest human beings a soul and free will. They were supposed to use it wisely.
    One thing I always wanted to ask that little girl: the fiber content of her clothing? Is it from a renewable and sustaining source? Does she recycle paper such as paper bags to make book covers for her school books? Does she eat or drink anything that arrives in plastic. Even as adults at our ages (72 here), we have no choices. All of that would help her sequence.
    I have been unsuccessful at rallying others. Why? Actual effort on the part of others. But people follow Greta their mascot mouthpiece, without giving any thought to the depth of the situation. Moving from one issue to the next as professional activists do.
    Maybe when I get to be a senile and really old little lady, I can make a big scene learned from my actual life long experiences. I won’t stand out or be a hate her or adore her type but more an embarrassment to my family who will lock me away.
    They have quite possibly ruined her life. And she has a long life ahead of her and her innocent childhood.

  3. A very wise opinion piece, Gregory.

    When I was in law school (seems like centuries ago), a little book came out which was a best-seller, called “Getting to Yes.” Its premise was that when negotiating, one should seek an end position which fulfilled as many as possible of the true needs and requirements of both parties. “Enlargement of the pie” rather than “dividing up the pie” was the goal.

    Alas, today we live in the age of “not only must I win, but you must lose.” Contemporary American society has turned Manichean – “I am Good, You are Bad.” Black and White (and I’m not referring to race, fellow readers). No listening to others.

    It is sad that a child has been used in this fashion. How much more could we all accomplish, if we sat down, perhaps over a cup of coffee, tea, cocoa – whatever – and started with our points of agreement, then worked at developing ways of accomplishing these goals.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    I believe it is abuse, what’s been done to here. To be Autistic and be made to grow up with a fear so profound that it must be communicated with anger, screeching, and accusations.
    My heart hurts for this child is pushed to the forefront with the mental and emotional challenges of Asbergers, the raging hormones and teenage angst, and so much fear when she should be protected but the people who say the love her.

  5. There is so much dishonesty in Greta’s situation. I feel badly for her and I agree that her parents/entourage are abusing her and setting her up for a bad outcome. Greta is never grateful or thankful for the positives in life, such as the free first class tickets that a German Railway gifted to her and her keepers. Instead of thanking them, Greta complained riding alone, sitting on the floor of the train with no where to sit… a set up artfully created to make Greta look like she was living a life of hardship. The truth is she gets free first class travel passes and Tesla’s to enjoy as she travels the world in luxury. A real environmentalist would have figured out that she could reach as many people on youtube without all the environmental harm of travel. But that wouldn’t have been as much fun as driving a Tesla, would it?

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