The world can be cruel, daughter;
I will read you fairy tales
Where peasants always get their princes
And there’s always a happily ever after
Just waiting around the corner,
But these are lies, daughter,
One I will tell you convincingly.
I fear the day you come to see through the lies,
The day the world breaks your heart
And shatters your dreams.
Oh daughter, it is a cruel place,
And you will want to be cruel with it.
Don’t fall to despair.
The world may not be all you’d hoped,
But it can be. It can get there
If you and your fellow generation
Recognize what we could not –
That anger begets anger
And violence begets violence,
And even the smallest of kindnesses
Can change a man’s entire world.
Daughter, it is true that the world is cruel,
And you should be careful not to let it
Take advantage of you.
But daughter, fight the temptation
To fight fire with fire,
For that only ends with the world
In ashes at your feet.
Give your kindnesses freely, but warily, daughter
And remember that the world
Is only as good as we make it.