Written May 23, 2017 after reading the headlines about the Manchester Arena victims
Dear Big B, Ms M, Lil B, Dix, and Little K:
I am sorry you have inherited the world in its current condition. Let me be clear, I realize I am not nor can I accept personal responsibility for the state of affairs of your world. This has been generation upon generation in the making. However, I do feel some amount of anxiety when I think of your tender hearts learning how to survive and navigate in this world.
I am sorry that you are growing up in a world without secrets. Every accomplishment may be shared with strangers. Every mistake. Every embarrassment. The private learning curve previous generations had the privilege of enjoying is gone. Your life must be treated more as an open book and treated with caution as such.
Closely tied to no secrets is the fact that your world is a world of critics. Not only can your life be displayed but it can be and will be openly critiqued. You will be called out for any mistake you make in harsh and mocking tones. In fact, harsh mocking has become an acceptable form of communication. Mockery forms unstable alliances and it can destroy anything in its path.
I am sorry that this is the time of self-preservation at the cost of the greater good. We are so in to pursuing individual rights that we overlook the big picture. This has caused our most serious illness to date – disunity. When we become us and them everyone will lose.
Despite having so many generations behind you that have perpetuated the human race, this is the time of realizing whatever we have been doing we have been doing it all wrong. According to the reports, no matter what it is the previous generations have done they have done it all incorrectly.
I am sorry that even though I’d like to share pictures of you I am hesitant to share your sweet faces on-line because once pictures and posts are on-line I have no control over them. Pictures that are in cyberspace are up for grabs and unfortunately any evil designing person can use your sweet image for ill-gotten gains.
I am most sorry that the word terror has such a personal and yet global meaning and one that your world must be vigilant about. You will always live in an ever increasing watchful and protective world because it will be necessary.
You probably don’t want to know about all this because this is your only reference point. It is the only thing you’ve ever known and it’s just the way of life for you. It is what it is. You live in a difficult time certainly but you do not live in a hopeless time. There is still great splendor to behold; there are still good people doing good things; there is still light.
I pray every night for you. By name. My hope is that you will succeed and rise above the din of your day. Peace is still available for you but you’re going to have to seek it.
You will need to learn quickly the power of discernment. One thing that has been perfected is that some gray shadows look a lot like light if you don’t have a reference point of true light. Deceptive voices are alluring and convincing. Beauty that is pleasing to the eye may entertain you for a moment but starve your spirit. Begin at a young age, even now, to pray for the power of discernment.
Look for Heavenly Father’s beauty every day and everywhere. Loveliness exists and abounds but is sometimes hidden. You might have to search a little deeper to find it but soul enriching beauty will always be there. The winter storm in spring surrounds the colorful flowers with brilliant white snow. The tragic loss of life due to violence brings out heroes willing to serve and help others. The grief during the passing of a loved one reminds us of sweet memories and is an honor to experience. Feeling grief means you have loved and love is the ultimate human experience.
Begin today to be a prayerful person. The only way you will come to know peace is by aligning yourself with the Prince of Peace. Peace does exist and it is still offered to you. Accept it by drawing close to Him. Let prayer become a part of your character. Create a need and want for this daily conversation. Make it so a day is not complete until you offer your heart in prayer at least once.
Unfortunately, horrors will be commonplace in your day and age. You will be well acquainted with the word terrorism. My fear is that since it will be normal that you will begin to not notice the violence. That any tender traits you possess will have to be protected by a hard shell in order to survive. Try not to just survive but thrive during this time. Look for beauty. Find love. Exemplify integrity. Reach out. Do good. Search for peace. Stay close to God. Grow toward the light.
Each one of you is capable of becoming a great person. Work to achieve that potential.