Dear Kids, I’m Sorry You Live In Fear

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Hannah Terry/Reshot

Dear Kids,

I’m so sorry.

I’m so beyond heartbroken that you are growing up in a culture of hate, prejudice, intolerance, and violence.

As much as I wish I could say there once was a time when these realities didn’t exist, the raw and devastating reality is that from the beginning of this country becoming colonized, far too many children and adults alike have had to live in a state of fear for the entirety of their existence. As you are well aware, America has a ghastly history of treatment toward certain groups of people—and more ugliness adds to this narrative every day.

An atrocious number of human beings representing all ages have lost their lives at the hands of greed, power, righteousness, and evil because of the color of their skin, their nationality, heritage, religion, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, physical condition, and political affiliation. If it wasn’t physical death because of being cast off their land and left to die, lynchings, terrorism, or murder, unfathomable numbers have endured a spiritual death as a result of being dehumanized by their fellow man to the point of worthlessness. These lethal wounds continue day in and day out.

All three of you experienced this horror first hand as your high school came under fire in a merciless school shooting that took the physical lives of three of your classmates and an incomprehensible number of emotional lives in its wake. We, as a community, relive this gut-wrenching trauma over and over again as we watch in dread as similar incidents unfold at an alarming rate. This is a nightmare that haunts me daily on so many levels for so many people, the deepest being my primal ache for what you had to endure at such a young age.

I’m so sorry.

I’m so beyond heartbroken that we, as a collective, haven’t done better to right these wrongs.

I wish I could say as your mom that I’ve done an adequate job in helping the cause. While I’ve walked in marches, written letters, donated money, loved on others, the truth is, I’ve also added to the overall problem at times with my own ignorance and apathy. Worst of all, I’ve often inadvertently championed the hurt by simply not championing change. My lack of involvement and fear of speaking up and out over the years leaves me filled with shame and regret. I can do better. We ALL can do better for you and every one of our neighbors in these supposed ‘united’ states. Every human being matters. Each one of us carries the divine image of God—which is love—regardless of the roles we play, the beliefs we hold, how we look, and how we act. Light is light is light. Love is love is love. God help us.

As a collective, we have failed you. We have failed one another. Certainly, we have failed to live up to the calling of one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I can only imagine the stream of tears God weeps over our wayward actions, faulty thinking, selfish motives, and prideful choices. None of us are innocent. For me to even think I’ve risen above the hatred, judgment, and righteousness puts me at a level of perfection that rivals God, and heaven knows I’m not even close to such a pay grade. I’m flawed and imperfect, but I also have every opportunity to grow, transform, and continue to wake up. We all do.

Daniel Truta/Reshot

I’m so sorry.

But I’m also so proud of you and your generation. I’m undone by your level of acceptance for anyone other. By your ability to see people for who they are, beneath the nauseating amount of labels society continues to stamp upon everyone around them. We are created in the image and likeness of God. The image is universal to all, the likeness looks like 7.5 billion forms of uniqueness. If we’d only embrace such a gift of diversity with the kind of wonder and love that so many of you and your peers seem to do, revelation would come easier.

I’m proud of your courage to speak out, to lead, to demand change. Your passion is infectious. Your willingness to set a table for anyone and everyone moves me to tears. I applaud your ability to listen to both sides without drawing a line in the sand. Dualistic thinking is stinking thinking in your book, and as a result, we all learn the beauty of looking at the ‘whole’ of not only people but situations as well. That’s where compromise is born. That’s where justice breathes air. That’s where love overcomes fear. That’s where forgiveness starts.

I’m so sorry.

I promise to do my part to work for change. I’ve done a decent amount of awakening over the past couple of decades—but I have so much more to learn. You kids are some of my greatest teachers. Thank you.

I love you.