Dear 12 year old,
You were born in America.
You were born with a Dad and a Mom.
You were born with college educated parents.
You were born with parents who care deeply about you.
You were born with aunts and uncles and grandparents that care deeply about you.
You were born in a country that offers free education till high school and transportation to get there.
You were born in a society where you can wear a tie dye T-shirt and jean shorts every day.
You were born in a culture where you can wear your hair short and how you look is not your primary measure of worth.
You were born without the colour of your skin being an immediate disadvantage.
You were born in a religion that is not misunderstood and reviled.
You were born in a body that aligns with your brain.
You were born in a family where whether you end up attracted to boys or girls or both, we will love and accept you.
You were born in a society where you don’t have to abruptly stop your schooling to get married.
You were born in a culture where girls don’t have limits put on them.
You were born in a family where your Dad always treats all women with respect.
You were born in a home where you have never gone to bed hungry. Not once.
You were born and always been able to open a faucet and get clean water, turn on the stove and get fire, open the fridge and get food.
You were born and had access to books and sports and technology.
You, my 12 year old, were born one of the luckiest and most privileged kids on the planet.
With this privilege comes responsibility. Your effort in school projects now, your grades now, your commitment now and for the next few years will affect your life. But more importantly it has the potential to affect the lives of so many many people who were not born as lucky as you.
I know your heart, you were born to do great things, to be a voice to those who don’t have one, to use your life for the greater good. That is why this mother wants you to always always give your 110%. My motivation does not stem from some Tiger Mom dream to get you in an Ivy League school. It stems from my deepest core belief that this life is not a dress rehearsal. You get to do it once. Why not then, give it your best effort?