Open Letter to the World

Now that I’m a seasoned blogger with eight whole posts under my belt (insert sarcasm font here), I thought it was time to enter into a writing contest.  Seems like a natural progression, right?  I really don’t care too much about the competitive side of this exercise, but instead was excited about the challenge of writing an Open Letter to the World.

Dear World-

Remember that time that I promised that I’d be one of The Ones?  You know, The Ones that would make a difference?  The Ones that leave a mark?  The Ones that make you, The World, better?  You know me: the best of intentions, but the shortest of attentions.

But my family has changed.  I have three kids now.  Each one beautiful and quirky in his and her own ways.  They have dreams that need to be fostered.  They have talents that need to be cultivated.  They have spirits that need direction.

Times have changed.  We no longer live in a world where being a good citizen, showing respect, and loving God is enough.  You World, need more intentionality than that.  Being a passively good person won’t cut it anymore.  You require more of me than you used to.

I have changed.  No longer is the young woman who could plead youth and ignorance.  She has been replaced by a woman with experience IN you, World, and, ashamedly, OF you.  I have seen poverty while living in India that made it hard to breathe.  A burden of mourning and sadness fill the streets of Sarajevo.  Two cities with two vastly different histories, people, cultures, and yet both have left scars on my heart that can no longer be hidden.  And those are just two of your cities, World.  Two.  My conclusion:  I know better, so I must be better.

I hear you calling me, World.  I can no longer sit idly by as you plead for me, and others just like me; those of us with first world problems will no longer use our voices for complaints, but rather action.  Am I likely to be an ambassador for human rights that is interviewed by the likes of Anderson Cooper?  Probably not.  Will a building be named after me for bringing awareness to a cause that changed the world?  I doubt it.  So what can I do, World?

On the surface, I don’t have much to offer.  I’m not rich.  My skills and talents might bring me joy, but aren’t worth a lot on paper.  My greatest achievements are peacefully sleeping upstairs as I write this letter to you.  But they are just babies.  New to you.  They are just blank slates, without prejudice, bias, or experiences.  They are blank slates.  Blank.  Slates.

I offer to you my children.  I resolve to raise children who are not so busy living IN you that they forget that they are part OF you.  I won’t toughen them up so they can withstand the storms of life.  I will teach them, no show them, that they can have spirits that calm storms.  I will make it my life’s mission to show them that they ARE ambassadors of goodwill, not only worthy of being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, but worthy of being called sons and daughters of a loving, living God.  I will give them life altering experiences and force them out of their comfort zones.  Show them simultaneously the utter despair of abject poverty and the brilliance of selfless love.  I will allow them to struggle so they value effort.  I will love them unconditionally, so they will always know the feeling and can mirror it to others.  I won’t allow them the excuse of not knowing better.

They are yours.  But know this, World.  I am not me without them.  So if you want them, you’ve got me too.  And I’m not me, without my God.  That’s right, you get Him too.  One big, happy family.  See you at the reunion

East Foundation Reception Desk-2003


East Foundation Reception Desk-1482


East Foundation Reception Desk-1993



23 thoughts on “Open Letter to the World

  1. Tears. That’s what this gave me. Tears. How can you express how exactly I feel inside my heart and mind? You are awesome. Love you!

  2. You are just like a butterfly—spreading your wings and becoming more vibrant with every day! This is so thought-provoking, I could write pages in response, but I wouldn’t want to take away from your beautiful reflections so I’ll keep my thoughts simple. The world needs a lot of unselfish help, a ton of genuine love, and a whole bunch of caring and tolerance. Hooray, the world must be smiling as you and your family seem to be giving it just what it needs. Today our world is better because it has people like you.

    P.S. These charming and adorable photos really need to be displayed at each of our major airports welcoming people into our country. I think they’d fall in love with Americans!

    Happy October!

  3. Heather – I too entered the contest. My entry can be found at the following link if you care to read it.

    However……your entry was so compelling…..and incorporating the true treasures of your children into the story was SPOT ON….love them……hold them…..then like a majestic bird…release them to soar like the eagles they were destined to be…….

    Today…I will be writing a letter to my youngest daughter….she is getting married in 4 weeks….and has already been released…but this Daddy needs to write from the overflow stored in my heart!

    Again…..great post…thanks for sharing…Bruce

    • Thanks, Bruce! I really enjoyed your letter as well. Congratulations on your daughter’s upcoming marriage. I can’t quite put myself in that place in my mind or heart, but I know one day I’ll have to let my kids go too. Best of luck to you!

  4. Pingback: Open Letter Challenge [Writing Contest] | Josh Irby

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