Our daughter finished school today. It’s all going to be quite strange to her for a while, and I wish you would treat her kindly.
You see, up to now she has been queen of her roost and her parents have always been near to soothe her wounds and repair her feelings. Now things are going to be different. She is starting out on a new adventure. It is an adventure that may include war and tragedy and sorrow. To make her way she will require a great deal of faith, love, tolerance and understanding.
So, world, I wish you would look after her. Take her by the hand and teach her the things she will need to know, but please, world, do it gently if you can.
She will have to learn that not all people are just, that not all people are fair, and that not all people are true. But also teach her that for every villain there is a hero, for every crooked politician there is a great and dedicated leader, and for every enemy there is a good friend.
It will take time, world, but teach her that a nickel earned is of more value than a dollar found. Teach her to lose gracefully so that she will enjoy winning that much more.
Steer her away from envy, if you can, and teach her the secret of quiet laughter. Teach her to be at peace with her God. Teach her to be strong inside so she can stand the hurt of failure and keep the desire to try again until she succeeds. Teach her to be gentle with gentle people, and to be tough with tough people.
Teach her to follow her judgment and not the crowd. Teach her to listen to all people, but to filter all she hears through a screen of truth. Teach her to laugh when she is sad, but also teach her that there is no shame in shedding tears. Teach her there can be glory in failure and despair in success.