Dear Jessica and Danielle, your mom and I continue to be blessed to watch you grow. Like many your age, you are each your own person, but are drawn to your own version of community. It could be that the "always connected" nature of your cell phone makes you feel as often distant from others as it does increase your connections.
Someone once asked why, if we can Google any question, would we ever need to memorize information or learn those things that are only a mouse click away? I would say to you both that it is not so much the information itself, but your confidence in finding ways to integrate this info into any new situation you encounter that matters. You and your generation are now more than ever, detectives looking for ways to connect the clues in an always changing environment.
In the work you choose to pursue, the concepts of community, collaboration and ownership will disrupt most of the traditional work place models. Jessica, though you work for yourself with your husband James in the often highly technical wedding photograhy business, it is your passion for community and collaboration that sets you apart. And Danielle, as you continue to discover where your passions lie, I see you developing a strong sense of ownership and pride in your work. So much more rewarding for you and your generation to have a stake in the process toward solutions rather than just following others’ directions.
In a day to day life where Wifii is virtually everywhere and truly there is an app for everything, you must both learn to be discerning on how to balance your use of these tools. God has created an astonishingly diverse world to explore every day in such high HD that no lens could ever truly capture.
So it is my daughters, on Jessica’s birthday, that I encourage and charge you both to boldly dream big. Stand for justice and community in each of your circles of influence and never forget to find something to be thankful for each day.
The world that you are inheriting from my generation continues to feel smaller and smaller. Something that happens far away can directly impact you. You will have to learn to discern between fake and real news and focus your efforts where you can effect change.
You two are very wise for your ages. You have caring hearts and love to tell a good story. You will each encounter many blessings and challenges along your paths. Remember to embrace both. Bring a humanity to your digital lives and listen to differing viewpoints.
Following your dreams is no easier or more difficult now than it was in the world our parents handed to us. It will take all you have to give, but it will always be worth it to take the chance. I am very proud of you both and know the world will be good in your hands.