I am 18 years old, a Sophomore in college. I wake up every morning. I turn on the television as I sip my coffee. I have just entered adulthood and would you like to know how I'm feeling? Tired. So very very tired, and so very angry. How could I not be? In the past month alone, I have awoken to see hatred, violence, chaos, and society, telling us what to do and how to perceive ourselves. With the flip of each channel, I'm told which lives matter, which lives don't, who's predisposed for perfection, who is destined for a prison sentence...This is NOT how I would like to spend EVERY day of adulthood that follows. My dear sweet mother once told me that the opinions of someone unkind are opinions not worth your time. I'm not sure when society became so unkind, but I do know this. Society is a singular world. If society's view of you is so important, then why do we refer to 6 billion people as if they are one? Perhaps it's because the criticisms of a mass are no more valid than the criticisms of a single individual. For just a moment, let's consider society to be one person. For the sake of context, let's name her Society. You may not know this, but you've already met her. She was the queen of high school woes, disgusted by your relationship, openly laughing at your outfit choices, and showing fake pity for your acne-scarred face. She was the voice behind those names too derogatory to repeat, and she was the one who told particular classmates, her fellow humans, that their lives didn't mean a thing. There were a few spared from her cruelty. But as the years passed, her popularity only grew. And while the two kids running for Student Body President were busy gossiping like caddy school girls, they forgot to fix Society's behavior. Doing so mattered, very much. But do you know who matters more?
This is an open letter to YOU.
It's time that we heeded our mothers' advice and stopped listening to Society.
It's me. I know we've never met before, but I'm writing you this letter because I'd love to meet you. After all, Society has told me so much about you. We crossed paths in the hallway and she explained how you're finally seeing the hot guy that she recommended for you. She couldn't stop raving about how pretty you looked in the Prom pictures after a decent photo-shop job. So you see, it's like I already know you. But can I tell you a secret? I don't particularly like Society. It was right after she criticized my major and taunted the Spanish-speaking Freshman that she told me these things. I get the impression that she thinks I care about her opinion of me. Here's the thing...I couldn't care less. My mom told me from an early age not to. But I've been told, dear sweet thing, that you do. Your friends approached me, very observant and concerned that you haven't been yourself lately. So I'll ask you now. Have you been yourself lately? I may not be a friend of Society's, but I'd love to be a friend of yours. Let's not be mistaken though, I want to meet YOU, NOT the expectation-meeting, facade-building robot that Society programmed you to be.
Why, you ask? Well, do you remember Dr. Seuss? "There is no one alive who is you-er than you". Every detail, the beautiful color of your skin, the stunning color of your hair, your natural born talents, the way you talk, your funny quirks, that one person you're madly in love with...These are the individual fibers of the masterpiece that is you, and I can think of no greater honor than to meet just YOU. Perhaps the scariest reality is that we've been introduced before, but I shook the hand of the robot and not the person. Don't give Society the satisfaction, it will only make her more cruel. Be you. Be the light that shines through the hatred of the times. Be you, so that when I shake your hand, I can say:
"It's so nice to FINALLY meet YOU".