To My Kids,
Some people will say that the world is a scary, scary place. Some people will say that there’s no hope and that the future is dark and bleak.
My dear ones, don’t pay attention. There are things that are awful, and terrible, and sad, but there is also always HOPE and there is always GOOD. You have the tools already printed in your heart. You have love, mercy, compassion, generosity, and kindness. You have ambition and courage, and a radical sense of justice…and that is exactly what is needed.
You are not helpless to bring goodness and light to the world; you are well equipped.
Fear will tell you that it isn’t enough, and that there is nothing that can be done. It will say that you are helpless and a victim to fate. It isn’t true, my loves. The world is your canvas. Make your mark on it with creativity, compassion, and purpose…and I promise that you (and it) will never be the same.
The world is still very, very beautiful because it is full of people, people who have greatness inside of them. We must always be believers in people.
No act of kindness is too small to matter. Every single time you make the decision to love instead of hate, to embrace instead of judge…it matters. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. When I overheard you lose your temper with your sister, and tell her to “Move over!” and then quickly apologize saying, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have talked to you like that.” That mattered. When you took ten dollars from your savings and left it in the tip jar for a barista, that mattered. It mattered very, very much.
When you share your toys and invite someone who is left out to play…it always matters.
Remember: love is always more powerful than evil.
You aren’t better than anybody; no matter their choices, their ethnicity, their grades or their looks. Nobody. The way we love God is to love people. All of the people. Not in a huge overwhelming way – but in the way of loving those in front of us – at the coffee shops or at school. The way of being kind and generous. The way of looking at the world with eyes wide open, and giving to causes that make a dent in global needs like hunger and clean water.
Sometimes you might feel like floating through life, and giving up on caring. I get that, I feel like that too sometimes- it’s hard to keep caring. The thing is though, without caring and giving, and offering your strength – you will be bored. You need to have purpose that is bigger than just yourself…
…and you do.
There are a lot of things happening right now that are violent and hateful. Our hearts are sick and grieved, and it is good to cry. Sometimes we can’t fix it, and there is nothing to say that will make those in Orlando, or Minneapolis, or Dallas, or France, or Sandy Hook’s hurt feel better, but what we can do is look at ourselves and ask:
Who am I going to be?
What am I going to do to make the world a better place?
How am I going to be a person that calls out the good and the strength inside of others?
Who you are matters. What you invest into this world matters. When I look into your eyes, I see all that is good. I see a brightness and an innocence. I see passion and fire and someone who will not easily be pushed down or quieted. I see someone who loves well, and who cares about others’ needs.
I am proud of you, and I think that what you have is just what is needed to call this world a very beautiful and wonderful place.
So here’s what we are going to do this week:
We are going to bake pies and take them to houses on our street (your choice).
We are going to paint beautiful art pieces and send them to a loved one who is suffering from a tragic loss.
We are going to look for an act of kindness we can do for someone we don’t know, and then talk about it in the evening around the dinner table.
We are going to read together about people in other countries (or our own) who don’t have enough like we do. Who don’t have clean water, or enough food or education or homes – and after we learn we are going to pull together our money and send it to them.* $1.00, $10.00…however small, it all matters.
Because, my loves, we matter and what we do matters.
Don’t you ever believe for one precious second that this world is more scary than it is still good. I know this because of the gold you have inside you.
*For those who might want to do something similar with your kids, our family is currently looking at the refugee crisis and is giving to the Compassion Collective. You can find out more about that here or text COMPASSION to 91999 to receive a donation form on your phone.