You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go!
Dear child, you need to know that the moment you were placed in our arms, and we breathed in your sweet being, our hopes and dreams skyrocketed for you. Our lives would never be the same because of you. And neither would the world.
You see, you were born into a pretty amazing generation, where things seem to move at warp speed and advances in technology happen every second. At an early age you’ll have the privilege to embrace tools and opportunities that technology gives you. Discover and learn and make your mark on the world. Use these tools to build relationships and love others.
We can’t wait to see the places you’ll go and the things you’ll accomplish. Undoubtedly, technology will have a huge influence on your journey. But it can also threaten your future.
Because of this, we have a few things we want to share with you. Please know that with great technology comes great responsibility. What can be used for good can very easily take you down a path you never intended. So as you grow up in this amazing time, we wish for these things for you.
May you have discernment and courage.
You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go!
Someday on your journey, you’ll see images that don’t seem right, you don’t understand or are just plain weird. Maybe someone will send you a message that’s crude or hurtful or ask you to look at things that make you feel uncomfortable. It might make you feel scared or uncertain or even ashamed.
Whatever it is, may you have discernment to listen to that little voice inside your head that says, “This is not right.” May you have the courage to overcome any fear or embarrassment and come to us. Talk to us. No matter what. We’re here for you, we love you, and it’s ok. It’s truly ok.
May you be able to recognize true beauty and love.
You’ll know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. – attributed to Dr. Seuss
Reality. It’s something you might struggle with later on, as along the way, you’ll be tempted with images and messages that push an unrealistic, unhealthy, and dangerous dream world of what “real” beauty and “real” love are. It’s easy to fall into this trap, to gravitate and take comfort in these images. We tell you this because we know you will be faced with this challenge. It will be all around you.
You see, if you learn to desire and expect an unattainable idea of perfection and adoration from people who are imperfect and flawed, your relationships will fail.
Dear child, we wish for your relationships to thrive. We pray that you always keep a clear view of what true beauty and real love are, and to experience another’s love someday, untainted. Remember it’s about real people and not pixels.
May you feel protected.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
As we close this letter to you, we want you to know how much you are loved. And from that love comes our intense desire to protect you. May you always feel that our family and home are a safe haven.
We take seriously our responsibility to protect you from things you’re not ready to handle. You’re growing up in a special time, with the power of technology at your young fingertips. But sometimes it’ll be too much to handle and it’s our responsibility to help you navigate this.
We don’t expect you to know how to make those tough choices—that’s our job. We don’t hold you responsible to know these things—it’s our job to teach you. If we don’t, we are failing you.
We’ll be learning together, which means sometimes you’re not going to like the answers and it will seem unfair. You will not understand at times and that’s ok. This is the part where we ask you to believe us and respect us, even when it’s hard to do.
You’re an amazing kid who will change the world—and we’re not about to let the world change you.
Written by Leigh Seger