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Bye Felicia

Dear Daughter,

As a thirteen year old, it was the worst day of my life. I came home from school and my day progressed as usual until a phone call from a friend changed it all. “Ana, you won’t believe what “Felicia” said about you! She said she saw you the other day and you had on corduroy pants!” My world as an eighth grader was over! Despite the fact that I didn’t even own a pair of corduroy pants, it hurt me to my core and I didn’t understand why it bothered me so deeply. Then it dawned on me… I had never heard of or met this girl a day in my life. Days later, the same girl was still spreading the most malicious rumors I had ever heard. Well, that meant war and, at this point, she was a self-proclaimed enemy. Evil for evil, I responded with the harshest expressions I could muster up. Overwhelmed with emotion, I remember jumping into my bed crying my eyes out. I didn’t understand why someone who didn’t know me would make such callous remarks.  It just didn’t make sense.

A few days ago, I recalled this story and I thought to myself, “What would you want your enemies to say about you?” I was shocked at even considering such a preposterous thought. Nonetheless, an important question to consider. Yes, your first response may be to imply how strongly you disregard your enemies, not giving an ounce of attention to their attitude, thoughts, and actions toward you. But I think it goes a little deeper than it may appear to the eye, especially the “enemies” that have proclaimed a silent war against you. Sadly, this may leave you clueless as to what you could have done to initiate such negative feelings. What’s a girl to do???

I think it’s clear how society influences the way we respond to those who seek ill will for our lives. Instinctively, we maliciously retaliate. Take the story I shared for example, a trivial circumstance, from a mature point of view, but I still think there’s a lesson we can learn. Contrary to what society suggests, the Word of God offers an unethical approach, as it may seem to some. We are charged to turn the other cheek, live peaceably, love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and overcome evil with good. Talk about unorthodox! To an enemy, this response may seem unauthentic, pretentious, and maybe even weak. Don’t stoop to their surface level mindset. Never fight fire with fire. My love, always remember to let your actions speak louder than their words.

Respect the process,

Ana J.