Take the Road Anyway

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To the next generation,

You are worthy of love. The world you grow up in may not teach you to recognize this, but it is inherently true, and your relationships with others cannot be as full as they were intended to be until you recognize this.

You have something to offer the world. No, this is not why you are worthy of love. It is out of this love, however, that you can spread what you uniquely have to offer to the rest of the world.

The mistakes you will inevitably make do not define your future. You are going to make mistakes, create something you wish you could erase, it is going to happen. What will define your future is not the mistake itself, but where you choose to go from there. Do you let it hold you back, define you? Or do you allow yourself to learn, apologize, change your mind, and create something positive out of the brokenness?

The easy road isn’t always the best one. Taking the road of growing from your mistakes will indeed not be easy. It is going to involve some growing pains, feelings of regret, suffering, and more.

But take the road anyway.

You were created for community. Take the road, but don’t take it alone. The beautiful thing about this messy world is that it is filled with messy people who are all on this journey of learning and growing together. Trust me, you will have much more joy in your life if you embrace this community of messy people. So accept help, listen to others, put your full self into these relationships.

The world can be a scary place, but you can’t let that stifle your curiosity. This messy world, full of messy people and mistakes is indeed scary. However, it will always remain just that if you never venture into it. The more of the world you see, the more people you cultivate relationships with, the less scary the world will actually seem. Though bad things still happen, you will not view the world as some outside force wreaking havoc on you.

You will see you and the people you have made relationships with as active participants in cultivating beauty and reconciling brokenness.

Even if my words don’t inspire you, I hope that our generation can instill these truths in you through the way we live our own lives, for you to take and instill in others. And even though I will fail at setting a perfect example, I hope you will feel loved regardless.

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.

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About the Author

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Reagan Swier enjoys fashion, food, travel, writing, and more. She believes that all of those passions (and your passions too!) can be used to advocate for social justice and create a better world for future generations. Currently, she is a Junior at a small university in Oregon, where she helps lead her school’s IJM (International Justice Mission) chapter. She enjoys the creative scene of the Portland area, which inspires her writing and feeds her passion for social entrepreneurship.