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Dear Jude,

By the time you read this, you’ll be thirty-three years old. You came into this world a few months before an illness swept across the globe, altering life as we knew it, shutting down commerce, denying us physical touch, and opening our eyes and imaginations to new pathways forward. I do not doubt that by the time this letter reaches your eyes, there will have been more occurrences like this. More events shift our understanding of the society around us and reveal to us what is possible and what is not.

I admit, I have little idea of what our earth, what your life, will look like when you read this.

You were born into a precarious time. But perhaps, there has never been a good time to be born. I hope that the comforts that you’ve inherited do not shield your eyes from the grave injustices that have made those comforts possible. I’d like you most to know–to remember–that these comforts you’ve inherited are not yours because you deserve them. That is not to say that you do not deserve comfort, community, or love. But not all of us are lucky enough to have been born into such things, and still, we are all deserving of them.

I alone cannot ensure a safe and healthy world. Neither can you. That is a job that requires collective action. Please remember that there is no safety in isolation.

But I promise to step into tomorrow with an eye toward the truth—however daunting it is to look upon—and a heart that knows courage as the audacity to love—in spite of fear, in spite of those comforts that we risk losing.

I hope to be there when you read this. I hope we’re laughing. I hope we can say how wrong we were about everything. And I hope we can pick out the things that we knew to be true all along.

Uncle Sam

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