The world is a scary place today.
Sadly war has been a constant dark shadow in this world since it began.
Today though it seems that scarcely a week goes by without us turning on the news to see another horrific event. An individual or individuals taking out their rage, their twisted ideology, on innocent people.
People do terrible things.
Your mummy is not a religious person. Therefore I do not believe in a so-called god who is all-powerful and yet would stand by while people, who this religion says he loves, are slaughtered in terrible ways.
I think bad things happen because some people are just bad. They may not have been born bad. Maybe they didn’t have the childhood that we are trying to give to you. Maybe they are jealous of what others have.
Of course mummy is simplifying matters here. Bad people who do bad things may not be bad all of the time. They may be hard workers, doting parents, loyal friends. Yet one day something in them snaps and the bad takes over any good.
Whatever their reasoning, whatever their justification, there is no good reason to take another person’s life.
With children being murdered as they attended a pop concert, diners being attacked as they gathered with friends and tourists being mowed down as they explored new places, it’s easy to let fear take hold.
But I don’t want you to be afraid. Even though at times I am.
I am afraid of what will come next. I am afraid of the awful images I see on the news of people running scared for their lives.
I am afraid of what could happen if we were ever unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But I don’t want us to bring you up surrounded by fear. I can’t control the unspeakable things that others do, but I can make sure that we keep living our lives the way we want to.
So to you my darling children, who are right now too young to comprehend the evil that can emerge from dark corners of our world, I say this:
Do not give in to fear. It’s what those attacking your free way of life want.
Do not be cowed. Do not change how you are because others say you are wrong.
Do not be put off dressing how you want to dress. Depending on your choice I may not always approve, as your mother, but you should always express yourself through fashion however you want to.
Do not be afraid to speak out. When you see others in pain or hear words you don’t agree with, it’s ok to be the one voice that goes against the grain.
Do not make yourself small to please others. Stand proud and independent. You have a voice and deserve for it to be heard.
Do not let the unkind words of others tear you down. Some people think the way we live our life is wrong. But it’s them who are wrong.
Do not stop exploring. Visit new places, go off the beaten track, go to the concert, travel. When we stop enjoying life, the bad people win.
Do not let stereotypes tinge the way you see others. As adults struggle to make sense of it all we sometimes turn on each other. The actions of one person do not define an entire group of people.
Do not allow the words of politicians to be your sole basis for forming opinions. Listen to others. Get all of the information. Then form an opinion of your own. You do not need to be told what to think, my darlings, you have the freedom to make up your own minds.
So, my beautiful children, I’m sorry I do not have the power to stop bad things from happening to good people.
I cannot always protect you, which is the fact that frightens me more than anything else.
But more than anything else, I am afraid of you not being able to fulfil your potential.
Dream big little ones. There will be nightmares too, but be brave. While you are young, I promise to try to be brave for you.