My Precious Girl,
You’re still too young to understand the news, and for that a part of me is grateful. After all, there’s seldom anything on there that I even want to see. It’s all bad news, followed by more bad news, and for now I want to shelter you from all the calamity. School shootings, political unrest, racism and violence. You’re so innocently unaware of it all, and for now you’re not negatively affected by all the anger, injustice, and evil. I wish I could keep you from it forever. Just keep you my sweet, loving girl. But I can’t.
One day you’ll see, and one day you’ll know. I watch you become more aware of the world around you every day, and you’re asking questions, and more importantly contemplating my answers. You’re growing up, beginning to form your own opinions, and that’s a good thing, but you still face harsh realities ahead. While a part of me may want to keep you sheltered and protected forever, I know that’s not the way. You need to be a part of this world at large, but you don’t need to let it steal your shine. That’s the challenge.
My advice to you as you begin to notice more the trouble of this world is to abide in hope. To abide is defined as “to continue without fading,” and that’s going to be very important as you go. The fact is that there are cruel people in this world who harm others without thought. Sometimes you will see so much hate, so many heinous acts that make you break into tired tears, and you’ll wonder where all the kindness went.
I can still remember when I served Active Duty and our world was attacked by terror on 9/11. As I watched helpless people jump from a burning building to their death it was as if hope plummeted with them. My heart hurt at the evil that rose against humanity, but then the true grit of humanity rose back in resistance. Despite the atrocious events, hope prevailed. Mankind remained in hope. They abided in hope. It threatened to fade, but in the end it did not. That is what you must always do. Never let the evil of this world win and steal your hope. In this world you will have trouble, but our hope is in something greater than this world. Keep that in mind always.
Here’s the part that kinda worries your Momma, though. You are so sweet, and so kind. Never let that be taken from you! We currently live in a world that feeds on sarcasm and breathes on cynicism. Harsh words are thoughtlessly hurled, opinions are strong, and concessions are few. Sympathy is dulled and charity for the sake of doing it without recognition is rare. You definitely will experience unfair treatment, judgement, and snide comments concerning your life choices. Let them roll off your back, for sure, but don’t let them make you unfeeling. It’s a tough balance to remain sensitive in a “mean” world, yet not let callousness or cruelty change you. They say “if you can’t beat them, join them,” but my advice is to always stay true to you. Don’t allow a hard world to harden you. It’s okay to be “weak” if that means loving your fellow man. A lot of the time when you are weak by the worldly standard, you are truly strong. I think you know what I’m talking about.
But here’s the most important part, kiddo. You are the future. Some folks say “this world has gone to hell in a hand basket,” but you know I never give up hope. I don’t want you to either. Be a world-changer. In a harsh world where confused, hurting people pull out a gun in school, yeah, you need to be on guard, but never do you need to become unloving. When you do that then it really will be the end.
I need you to be the light. I need you to help the hurting. Be the one who reaches out to the quiet, rejected people. Be the one who does no harm, doesn’t judge, and gives a smile always. Watch for those hurting, those who have fallen, and reach out a helping hand. I’m not saying this will be easy, or that it will even be accepted always, but I want you to never stop trying to be a light in this darkened world. Your highest calling in life is to serve others, love others, and perhaps even change this troubled world one life at a time.
You’ve got your work cut out for you, and honestly, I’m glad that right now all you can see is the kindness and love our home offers you. I wish every child had that. Perhaps then we wouldn’t be in the boat we are. For now you’re just learning to love, but my hope is that it will be so ingrained that you’ll have no choice but for you to overflow it into others as you step out further into this troubled world on your own one day.
I’m always here,
This article originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.