Dear twelve-year-old Kit,
Sorry for the delay in this letter, I promise I’ll do better.
Speaking of which, I’d like to introduce you to Wes – because he’s going to teach you to be better.
In these turbulent times where everything seems broken, you identify three types of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who ask what happened.
Folks like Wes, they can’t help but be the change makers for good in this world – it’s programmed into their DNA. Sometimes I think what makes Wes, Wes, is his uncanny ability to see what’s at stake more than everyone else. That’s what makes him so special, he doesn’t need someone to ask for help, he inherently feels when something is wrong and knows it’s time to step up.
As you grow up, you’re you’ll meet lots of folks who dance around preaching ideals to make themselves feel higher than thou, but end up just being filled with hot air. That’s not Wes, he can’t help but practice what he preaches.
Like, there’s that time he and his friends raised a bunch of money for Standing Rock, drove across the country so it could be hand-delivered, and then stood in solidarity alongside the tribes and their allies. Or that time he spent thirty minutes on the phone trying to figure out if a jacket he liked at a thrift store was cultural appropriation because there was a koi fish on it. Or at any given time he rocks nail polish because, well, fuck gender roles.
I can’t imagine how hard it is to wake up every day and witness the brutes of the world punish the people and planet he so vigorously tries to protect. If anything, it’s a true testament to his strength that he always shows up. I guess when you’re a champion for empathy and righteousness, there’s no other option.
There’s an old adage in bike racing that goes, “If you wanna’ be the best, you gotta’ train with the best.” It’s a humbling, yet rewarding process if you do it right. My only ask is that you start seeking out the Wes’ of the world as early as you can. They’ll challenge you to always be the better human, friend, and ally that this world so desperately needs.
Everyone deserves a friend like Wes.
More to come,