(This post originally appeared as a Facebook post on 7/8/16 in response to a dreadful week in America. In a three day stretch between 7/5/16-7/7/16, Alton Sterling, a black man, was shot and killed by two white police officers in Baton Rouge, La. ,Philando Castile, a black man, was shot four times in his car by a white police officer during a traffic stop. The incident was recorded and live streamed by his girlfriend who was also in the car, and in Dallas, Tx. Micah Johnson shot and killed five police officers during what had been a peaceful protest of the above events. In miserable irony, the day after this was posted the events of this weekend in Charlottesville, Va. Began.)
It’s been a tough week for America. I saw a lot of sad things in the ether today. But, the worst for me were posts on Facebook from girls, young women really, in my son’s friend group, expressing their wrenching sadness, confusion and anger under “feeling hopeless”.
They are smart, funny, curious, joyful young women, passionate about social justice and about life. I’ve known them all their lives. I’ve enjoyed watching them navigate the world alongside my sons. I can’t wait to see what they are going to be. The thought that these bright and beautiful people feel hopeless about our world at seventeen made me saddest of all. It stayed with me the rest of the day, and I have something to say.
To the Hopeless Girls:
This is hard , but I need you to do me a favor. I need you to have hope. I need you not to give up on this old world. If it is ever going to change it’ll be because of people like you, people who care, who love, people who notice and speak up when things are unfair.
I need you to gather all your strength and not become cynical or hard, to have a heart that can take being broken again and again. I need you to get back up and keep marching time and time again. I need you to use all your passion and all your gifts to pour love into this world, and to never, never, never give up on people. They can be so ugly sometimes, but it’s usually because they’re broken in some way. Someone taught them how to hate, you can show them how to love, or at least what it looks like.
It’s the darkest rooms that need a flashlight. Your light is stronger than the dark. Never forget that.
I know it’s a lot that I, that we are asking of you, of my sons, of your generation…but we’re counting on you.
One thought on “Hopeless Girls”
Beautiful, and pertains to all women not just the young ones. I will do as you’ve asked and share with my 18 year old daughter as well!