A Letter by Olivia Ludwick

mpu   |   July 26, 2021

Dear little ones,

I have never felt such a loss for words. The right words. The best words.

I have never felt so lacking in the two things I believe you all need the most- encouragement and hope. I was made to be an encourager, yet I have very little to give you.

There’s this invisible tape firmly stuck across my mouth that just won’t let the truth, my truth, come out. I have this fear of saying the wrong thing or coming off as something I’m not, which stops me from speaking up. Stops me from breaking through the “he said, she said” “fake news” noise.

And while Instagram has pushed me to run away and hide from its false reality, I feel this tug on my heart to still desire, no, demand the justice, equality, and respect we all deserve. If not to an audience of 1 million+ people, but to the three people that matter the most to me— you all.

In a time where offense is high and anger is higher, your voice has never been more critical. In a culture obsessed with celebrities, drama, and popularity, don’t be mistaken; you don’t need the loudest voice to have influence. The way you speak to your friends- matters. The post you make for 20 friends to see- matters. How you treat strangers- matters. The opinions you have of others that don’t make it outside of your thoughts- matter.

These daily decisions add up to respectful relationships and respectful communities. These communities elect respectful politicians who legislate respectful laws.

And suddenly, we’re not raising up slave owners’ statues or burning down flags. Suddenly, we’re not shaming victims or protecting predators. Suddenly, we’re united around a mutual love for each other and the blessing this country has been to all of us.

I believe your voices can change our country.

As I write this, I reflect on the words in our pledge of allegiance. I would guess there aren’t any words that I have repeated more in my life after 16 years in school. And can probably recite the words as easily as lyrics to any Blink 182 song.

One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That’s the country we need to get back to.

Not one ethnicity. Not under “fill in the blank” political party. Not so divided, we burn down businesses. Not liberty and justice, for some.

Not a country with some accepted more than others. Some respected more than others. Some cared for more than others.

But again- One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Our current isolation is amplifying this division and disdain of one another. Not just the physical isolation of quarantine, but the isolation caused by social media- I can see all 6 of your eyes rolling. Seriously, please lift your eyes up once in a while. Don’t just use your thumbs to talk; use your mouths. The longer you keep your mouth shut, the quieter your voice becomes, and yet it is the most powerful part about each of you.

Your voice has the power to divide and judge and hurt OR to unite and encourage and bring healing.

Take the invisible tape off, take a deep breath, and speak up.

Loving you always and forever,