This letter to Justin Bieber wasn't written by me, but by Megan Stevens, my #2 daughter (celebrating her 17th birthday today!) on her blog. I love Megan's heart, her sensitivity, and her constant desire to help others. See if you agree... Justin,
I decided recently that I’m going to stop reading celebrity gossip, not that I read a lot of it, but it’s disappointing more often than not. I’d rather like who I like because I like them and not be swayed by their private lives. Although I guess they’re not all that private. I think that would be the worst part about fame, not having any privacy. Anyway, I think to be where you are it would be really easy to feel entitled. You worked hard to get where you are today, no one can deny that. But if we’re honest, no one deserves to be put in a position of fame, leadership, good fortune. Why do you get that huge platform while there are so many hurting and hopeless? You have God-given talent and it’s on you to decide what you do with it.
There are kids all over the world who love you and look up to you. That’s a heck of a lot of responsibility. It’s not rare for me to have days when I look at the expectations people have of me and want nothing more than to quit, to give up and run the other way. It’s so tempting; particularly on the days I don’t want to do all the work involved in fulfilling those expectations. And how do I know that who I am is who I want to be and not just who others want me to be? I have lots of inner-arguments about what I should and shouldn’t do and why. What stops me is this: I have the potential to change the world. I can change lives. I can help people through my gifting and my abilities. And every second I waste walking in a different direction I lose time I could be making a difference.
You are in a position to affect thousands of lives with every tweet, every word, every song. That’s huge! The responsibility can be, and probably should be a little overwhelming. No one can handle that weight on their own. But with the right support system, you could be one of the few young stars that survives their teenage years with your credibility intact. And yeah, you’ll make mistakes, say/do stupid things, everyone does. The character lies in how you respond. They say you can change the world. I plan on being one of them. And you are in the prime position to blow everyone away and change lives. So many would give anything to be in your position, but they’re not. And you are. You’ve been given a gift, and there’s a large amount of responsibility that comes with it. Don’t squander it on petty, shallow things. Leave a legacy. Change the world!