“My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to, your dreams stay big, your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold.” Rascal Flatts

When my cousin was born in 2015, I knew this meant I was going to have a new tiny best friend, someone to spoil, and someone I’d hope to inspire. She became exactly that and more. As I’ve watched her grow over the past 17 months, I’ve realized that I want the world to be a better place for her. I want her to be the best person she could be and I hope that I could show her the way. Whether you have a baby yourself, or a younger relative, you should try to teach them some things. If you can’t change the world for them, make them a better person who can take on the world. You should hope to teach that little one a lot of things, for they are the next generation of our world. Here are some of the things I hope to teach mine:

It’s okay to be whoever you want to be.

Know that you are accepted as whoever and whatever you want to be. Everyone is different. Love whoever you want to love, dress however you want to dress, express yourself in any way possible. Never be ashamed of who you are. Shame on those who cannot accept you. Don’t pay any attention to those narrow-minded people. You don’t have to do things that are “deemed” normal for a girl. If you want to try out for the football team one day, why not?

Be strong

Be so strong that you can hold your own head up. Face your problems with bravery, courage, and dignity. Don’t let yourself sink when things go wrong. Keep getting up. If you fall down seven times, stand up eight.

You are not smaller or of less value than any man

Being a girl is not the easiest thing to be. You will be looked down upon, walked all over, and viewed a whole lot differently than men, and not just because of biological reasons. People will think you are sensitive, vulnerable, weak, and submissive. Show people what it’s really like to do things “like a girl.” You are powerful. You can do anything a man can do, and sometimes even better. You can be a CEO, a boss, or even the president of the United States. You don’t belong “in the kitchen,” you belong to be out in the world enjoying it as much as any other. Empower the girls around you. Do not bring them down or compete with them. Fight together. You are a girl and you can change the world.

Help others, be kind to others

There are many people who need help in the world and all around you. Help them. Don’t turn your head or walk away when you have a chance to help someone in need. Be kind to people. Being mean gets you nowhere but hated, alone, or guilty. Everyone deserves kindness, even if they are in the wrong. Be the bigger person.

Your mistakes don’t define you

They may not define you, but they teach you lessons. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t let them hold you down. Let them lead the way to a better future.

You are worthy

You deserve the world. Do not let anyone tell you differently. Do not let anyone treat you of lesser value than you really are. You are worth so much more than letting anyone do you wrong and getting away with it. You are worth the best of the best. Give yourself the best of everything. Treat your body with care. Love yourself. Put yourself above everyone because at the end of the day you are beyond worthy of happiness.

Dream big

You can be anything you want to be in this world. The sky isn’t the limit when there are footprints on the moon. Be anything you want to be. You can do it. The only thing that can stop you is yourself. Work hard to get there. Make yourself proud. Prove to yourself that you are capable of achieving your dreams.

The world is yours

The world can be an ugly place, but it is also beautiful. There are so many places to discover. You share this world with so many people of different cultures to meet and learn about. Travel the world and find yourself. Don’t stay in one location. This is your home. Explore it, embrace it, and learn to love it. Make this world a better place. You can do it however you want. If you don’t like something, try to change it. You have the world in your hands. It’s yours. Do what you want with it, and be who you want in it.