Joyful Soul: An Open Letter to My Baby Niece

“The most amazing feeling I feel / Words can’t describe the feeling, for real / Baby, I paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you.”Jay Z, Glory

Dear Queen B:

I didn’t create you, but we share the same blood. I was touring the country when you were born into this cold world, but you warmed my heart with the touch of a finger when we met. You were so attentive to the space around you. Your round watchful eyes wandered back and forth as if you were studying a game of ping-pong. And your only concern was milk, nap time, and love. Soon, that’s all going to change.

You’ll begin seeking freedom learning to walk. You’ll gain a sense of beautiful independence learning all by yourself. You don’t yet know what planning is so you’ll have the most fun being spontaneous. If you don’t get something right, you’ll try again and again until it’s exactly how you want it. You’ll do things your way. Whether you’re qualified or not, you’ll take risks. You’ll be honest and ask a lot of questions. You won’t be afraid to express yourself. You’ll value relationships and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You won’t be too concerned with the real world because your imagination will take you places you’ve never been. You’ll believe in the unbelievable. And you’ll play in life’s discovery and laugh in the face of its danger. But soon that’s all going to change.

Something strange is going to happen. You’ll be introduced to something called experience. Experience will try to steal your freedom, independence, spontaneity and all those things that made life enjoyable as a child. Experience will get you acquainted with doubt and reality. It will try to chip away at your confidence and even make you second-guess your once so sure self. Use experience to propel you and keep you safe, but don’t allow it to steal your zeal.

Don’t let reality make you lose faith in God and gain faith in man. Don’t put your joy in man because when man leaves, there goes your joy. The world didn’t give you your joy and the world can’t take it away from you. Your value isn’t in the hands of people and your worth was determined the moment you were born. You were born gorgeous, but the world will try to convince you otherwise. You’re the daughter of The King of Kings and your worth extends beyond the clouds. You’re a product of love.

You come from a line of many great men but many men won’t hold open your doors unless you hold open your legs. You come from plenty brilliant women, but plenty women will tell you you’re not brilliant. Things can get confusing. The world will lie to you and try to take pieces of your beauty. You own your desires. You control your life. Never forget whose you are or who you are. You’re the most beautiful soul I’ve ever seen … don’t ever change.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, remember this: We are connected for life.


Uncle Tan

This letter is for my niece – but it applies to every woman. Maybe being childlike isn’t all that bad after all.

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”Luke 18:17


– Enitan Bereola, II

Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Check his website and @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page.

One Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is so very beautiful! I thought of my nieces and my eyes filled with tears.

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