I can’t help but feel sick that we live in a world where race is still an issue, where religion is an issue, where sexual-orientation is still an issue. What a world for our kids to grow up in.
All I can offer is this: A letter to that little brown boy. A letter to my Jewish son. A letter to the obese kid. A letter to the transgendered child. A letter to that weird kid who makes funny noises….
A letter to a little boy in a scary world.
Dear Little Innocent Boy,
As you sit there, playing with Lego and imagining the giant things you’re going to build, I sit here and I watch you. Your hands are so sure, your face set in grim determination as you work. If I could ascribe a colour to you, it would most definitely be azure blue. Because that’s the colour of the sky and that’s what I see in your eyes – endless possibilities.
When I look at you, I see kindness. I see a heart that contains such a capacity for love that if love had mass, you would have to be a giant to hold it all in. You give generously with no hesitation, not because you’ve been taught but because you’re compelled to. You don’t DO kind things. You ARE kind.
When I look at you, I see anxiety. I see you worry about little things that are gargantuan in your mind. Your fears are so real and in them I see your vulnerability. Because you have no idea of the real monsters out there. You are so little, so innocent.
When I look at you, I see strength. Your body is strong, yes, but it’s in your character that I see your strength shine. I see it in your daily struggles with reading, as the tears glisten like pearls in the corners of your eyes, yet you still continue on. I see it in the twelve torn up pieces of paper with angry scrawls in your rubbish bin the morning after you’ve presented me with a flawless letter of love.
When I look at you, I see possibilities. I see a young boy with a brave heart, a gentle nature, a determined spirit and an astounding mind.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? I bet you see some things I don’t see. I’m sure you’re surprised by some of what I see.
I want you to know that, out there in the world, people are going to look at you. They are going to look at you but not all of them will see you.
The lucky ones who see you as I do will live in a world that’s a little brighter for the light you shine on it.
The others, the ones who look at you and see their own fears and demons – they aren’t really seeing you at all. They will look at you and see a picture projected on you by the reel of their own ugly minds. So, they will see an ugly picture and – I’m sorry – they will treat you as though you’re the ugliness they see.
My little boy, that’s their picture. It’s not you.
Those people will never see the beauty that you put into the world because they refuse to. That’s their problem and frankly, their loss.
Do not ever define yourself by someone else’s description of you – not even mine.
Go take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Know who you are. Say out loud that you are generous, loving, intelligent, strong and brave. Then go out into the world and live with your head held high. Paint such a magnificent picture on your life’s canvas that no matter what ugliness others may project on to you, nobody could possibly believe them.
You are not a black boy, a fat boy, a disabled boy, a nerdy boy, a Jew, an Autistic boy.
You are a boy.
A boy with a huge life ahead, a blank canvas, infinite possibilities and the incredible power to paint your own masterpiece.
You are loved.
My friend, Keesha Beckford of Mom’s New Stage posted this piece after the Trayvon Martin verdict and this piece, which was shared so widely it nearly broke the internet. Please go read them both because her message needs to be heard and her anguish shouldn’t go unchecked.
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