The piece that is always missing from “It gets better” is the work. Things don’t get better just because. They don’t get better because the future is by definition brighter. They don’t get better because the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice alone.
What we forget to tell our children and our neighbors and all the people who need some small hope to hold on to, to keep them strong and living, is that things will get better because there are people out in the world who love them. They may have never met, they may never meet, they may live entire lifetimes without ever knowing the other exists, they may die before they share breath on this earth. But there are people who love them, and who will fight for them, and that the best thing a person can do to show that their love is returned, that they love these people back, is to fight.
To promise that it gets better is to deliver false prophesy and false hope. We can only promise that we will fight to make it better. That we will put our backs into it, dig our heels in, push with all that we have to make this world better.
Winter is making its slow progress across New England, I can tell from the dry and scabbing skin of my wrists. It is cold, but the air is crisp and clear, and each thought feels sharp and ready. I will be cold every day when I wake up. But I will be ready.