God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Some things I cannot change: my age, who my relatives are, my eye color, my height, my childhood experiences, my inborn talents, my nature, someone else’s abuse of alcohol or other drugs, whether the sun will shine, my job history, what I will inherit, how my parents feel, yesterday’s lost opportunities, how long I will live, who forgives me, how my parents treated me, how much I am loved, the past.
Some things I can change: the youthfulness of my spirit, who my friends are, my hair color, my weight, my adult experiences, my achievements, my character, my reaction to someone else’s use of alcohol or other drugs, whether my eyes will shine, my job possibilities, what I will bequeath, how I feel, my ability to act on today’s opportunities, how well I will live, whom I forgive, how I treat my own children, how much I love, the future.
I thank God for my growing ability to choose."
Four months ago, a 14 year-old named Jonah Mowry made a video. He wrote on index cards and held them in front of the camera, one after another, owning his words bravely for the world to see. The world is seeing it. The video is seemingly everywhere this week, and we think it’s great. We are proud to share it with you.
Jonah is in eighth grade and no stranger to being bullied at school. He shares his journey through school, how bullying started in first grade and never stopped. There at the end, he acknowledges that things can’t keep going the way they’ve been going, but his recognition doesn’t imply defeat, rather it fuels his fight for his own story. He is stronger than giving up. He is worth more than giving up. He has a million reasons to live. In the dark, tangled up in his fears, Jonah seizes his own strength.
It is a hard road to find and hold on to the truths Jonah finds and holds in his video, and some of us don’t know how to get to the strength locked within ourselves. And it is in this place that I’m reminded that we need each other, that hope and goodness and truth and love, definitely love, can change a life.
People need you.
You need people.
What would the world look like if we lived like we believe in that? What would the world look like if we helped each other find the strength locked up within us? If, instead of tearing each other down with hate, we built each up with truth and love?
What would happen if we simply used our words for kindness?
Your words have power, and the way you shape them matters. Use them carefully, and use them often.
Wishing you hope and grace.
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“If you turn it over and don’t let go of it, you will be upside down.”