I’m sorry for this messy, broken world you’ve inherited. A world where anyone can be targeted for anything they do or say. A world where the term “terrorist” is used daily.
You won’t remember this, but back before 9/11, “terrorism” was something that happened in other countries. Like car bombs and drone strikes. It was horrible, but a world away.
Until it came to us. Until it landed on our shore.
I’m sorry that you won’t remember a world before that.
I’m sorry that there are metal detectors in your school and lockdown procedures for school shooter scenarios.
I’m not praising the past. It had its problems, believe me.
And the future isn’t all dark.
Because I believe in the strength of the future generation. In you, Bridget. I think your generation will refuse to accept limitations to what you can do and achieve.
More than any generation before you, I believe you’ll learn how to assert yourself and ensure your voice is heard, your contributions acknowledged. I think you’ll grow up showing your male peers exactly how talented you are, so that they will grow into men who respect you as an equal.
You’ll grow up seeing the broad reach of a single action in this incredibly connected world, and that ability to reach across and around the world will impact the way you think.
It will be easy to grow cynical, though. To focus on how imperfect and broken the world looks. And it is. I’m sorry for that. But it always has been horribly imperfect. So fight for the good. Because although there is darkness in this world, there is still good. And you get to be a part of it, Bridget. If you choose it.
Terrorism only achieves its goal when you give in to fear. Darkness can only consume you if you hide the light of hope.
You’ll encounter issues and problems previous generations never had to deal with. You’ll no doubt see more attacks and hatred flowing in any number of directions. But you’ll also have more opportunities than any other generation, more options for your future and chances to make a positive impact.
Sooner than you think, the world will belong to your generation. You won’t feel ready for it. You never will. But you’ll have everything you need to fight for hope, to fight for the future you want.
Hold onto that, Bridget. And don’t let anyone steal away your belief in a bright future. It’s yours. You only have to fight for it.
What’s Dear Bridget all about? It’s a series on my blog composed of letters to a hypothetical teen girl named Bridget. Why Bridget? It means strong. And it represents the current generation of young women. These letters are my attempt to break through the chaos and the crap that’s flying at today’s young woman in order to offer advice and encouragement, from me and other incredible women who remember what it was like to be in her shoes.
If you’re a teen girl and you’ve got a question or issue you’d like us to address, let me know. Just click on the contact button (that round envelope icon at the top of the sidebar) and send me your thoughts. If you’re a strong adult woman who remembers those teen years clearly and would like to write to Bridget, feel free to contact me and tell me about yourself.