You Have No Price
You have no price. This world might try to tell you what you are worth, but hear me sweet child, not even infinity could come close to covering it. To me, you are everything. In this world, there has never been anything like you. You are fire, you are passion, you are love, you are pain, and you are joy. You are beautiful and complex and most of all strong.
One day, people will start to define you. They will label you and judge you so that they can understand you. But you are not to listen to them until you know yourself. Do not let others tell you who you are before you know for yourself. One day, they might try to hurt you. One day, they might try to take your freedom away from you. They might try to sell you, or maybe first just take you away from what you know.
One day, if this happens, remember what I said.
You have no price.
My greatest hope in this world is that you never have to see the kinds of evil that exist in our world; but just like my mother knew she would not always be able to protect me, I know that you will one day be on your own without my protection. Chances are, you will witness evil. You will see others degraded, even physically abused. You will see girls being told they can’t do things for the sole reason that they are a girl, and you will see boys being told they can for the sole reason that they are a boy. You will see human beings have their freedoms stripped away in the name of power and greed.
My second greatest hope is that when you see these things, that you will not remain silent.
Who are we if we fail to speak up after witnessing injustice? What does it say about our humanity if we simply turn our heads as others are being bought, sold, or stripped of their dignity? Just as I desire for you to know how valued and treasured you are, I desire for you to help others understand their value in the same way. You have the power to change things, and when you use that power to connect with and build up humanity, our world will be a better place.
In my life, I have both succeeded and failed to speak against the injustices I’ve witnessed. I have been guilty of turning my head from the evil that I knew existed in exchange for an easier, more comfortable life. My child, while I want you to have the most beautiful life, I want more to see you never run away from the darkness or the evil that exists in this world. Even when others tell you not to, run towards the darkness and shine your light. I want fear to be unknown to you, and courage to be your lifeblood. I say this because I have seen that the greatest joy in life can be found in the middle of that darkness when you choose--against all odds--to have hope instead of despair. I can think of no greater happiness than to watch you share that joy with everyone who surrounds you until all are free from whatever bondage that has a hold of them.
There are those that will tell you that you can’t. There are voices that will try and tell you no. Hear me once, my cherished child, as I say that you are not to listen to them. Know your strengths and your limits, and then chase what is said to be impossible without ever looking back. Seek justice and find grace, and never once forget what I have said:
You have no price.
This is one of a series of posts we have been doing of letters to the next generation -- whether that is our children, future children, nieces, nephews, siblings or our students. Part of advocating for justice is teaching the next generation why people are inherently valuable and important. We hope that this series inspires you to share the fight for justice with the children in your life that you influence. Thank you for doing your part to make this world a better place for the next generation to grow up in.
About the Author
Beth Woods is a lover of all things outdoors, animals, and random dance parties in the car. She lives in College Station, Texas where she is studying international relations and French at Texas A&M University and hopes to continue advocating against slavery for her career someday.