A Letter To My Teens

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As we approach another school year, there are some lessons I hope you learn along the way. It’s great to take AP English and maybe even get straight A’s but none of that means a thing unless you achieve these things first.

In a world who often turns a cold shoulder, be a shelter of warmth. When the crowds of people yell suck it up, be that one voice that stands up and says “let me help”. Stand up for the people who cannot stand up for themselves. Do good things, not for any special reward, but simply because you can. When everyone is critical, work harder than even to speak kind words. Don’t join every fight you are invited to. Sometimes the decision to walk away from something unnecessary that does not serve you earns you the biggest medal of all. Be brave and use your voice to speak about what you believe in but not at the expense of drowning out everyone else’s voice. Your opinions and differences are never more important than friendships. It’s okay to disagree but do it respectfully. Remember sometimes less is more. Spread love and encouragement and snuff out contempt and criticism. There’s already enough of that going around. You never need to have the last word. Be honest and true to yourself even when it hurts. Don’t be afraid to admit your flaws or make mistakes. Believe me, they will always help you grow. Water your own grass and keep it green, not to compete with the yards around you but to make yours the best you know it can be. Respect yourself and don’t place too much value on someone’s opinion. Only you walk in your shoes. Wear them out but wear them proud. Never be ashamed to be soft or different. Stand out. If you make a mistake, fix it. If you hurt someone, show compassion and say”I’m sorry”. If you’re right then you don’t have to argue your point. Keeping peace is often more admirable than being right. Be a beacon of light and hope in the darkness that will surround you. Remember my favorite quote of all, 

Don’t let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world.

Your greatest achievement will never be your grade point average, your degree or job but rather to be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you are. Lie down at night and know that you made a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s small. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be the friend we all need to have and never let the coldness of a few, make you shiver. Let your light shine and be a reflection of love and kindness. I am so proud of both of you! In a world where people will try and tear you down, be the hand that helps others up. 

Love,

Mom

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