Archive of Letters and Voices • Alex Gino
• 16 March 2021
Hey young Book-A-Day readers,
I’ve got a question for you: How many times has an adult told you that you don’t know everything? I mean, technically they’re right: you don’t. But neither do they. Neither do any of us. The world is both delightfully and frightfully filled with unknowns. It’s true, adults have lived on the planet longer than kids and teens. We’ve generally had more experiences, and often that means we have more information to draw on. That’s important, especially when safety is concerned. (“Yes, that oven is hot and yes you will burn yourself if you touch that red coil.”) But you know your experiences and feelings, and anyone who tries to tell you that they know you better than you know yourself is wrong.
Here’s another question: How many times has an adult trusted what you do know – about yourself or about the world? Adults have gotten used to knowing things and family who knew you when you were little can be especially difficult. Sometimes they repeat an embarrassing thing you said when you were three years old at your thirteenth birthday party, and sometimes it seems like they still think you’re that little kid. But you’re the only person who’s been in your head the whole time, and you’re the only one you’re going to spend every minute of your life with, so really, you’re the one piloting the ship.
OK, one more question before I sign off: How many times have you seen yourself as the expert of your own life? It can be easier to go with the flow, whether it’s with family, friends, school, clubs, or anywhere else there are other people. It can be nerve-wracking to be different. But the more you express who you are, the more you can find people who you really like to be around, instead of hanging around people you hope like to be around you.
So get to know yourself well and share your unique and spectacular existence with the world!