Day 4: Emily Dubin (@emdubin)
Emily is quickly becoming my favorite fifteen year old. Yes, you read that right. Fif-teen.
Emily wants to help anyone with access to the Internet who needs a reminder that this life, the one they’re living right now, is so worth it. So very important to someone else—a stranger, a friend, a parent.
That’s a giant and humbling goal for a teen girl who probably has her own list of worries and stresses to keep her mind busy at night.
When I think of myself at fifteen, it is all quiet and emotional, too introspective for my own good at times. Too unable to see the picture outside of my bedroom window or my hometown.
I was not ready to love the world. Not like her.
She’s learned something pretty fundamental about this world wide web we’re embracing across the globe. It’s about human connection and it’s about the power that never before existed.
She does not need anything besides a webcam and index cards to change the world.
Let me tell you a secret: I love this trend of pinning index card stories to soundtracks and recording them for the YouTube generation to watch story after story told without spoken words. They can sit through hours of documented triumphs and struggles, pasted onto note cards and uploaded into their hearts for easy access.
Emily made one of those videos about six months ago. When I found her (and her video) online, I realized this was not a spur-of-the-moment endeavor. Her whole self was grounded in reaching the unreachable people, shivering in empty basements or overheating in stuffing attics. She wanted to remind them about tomorrow, the day they should hold out for.
She’s really talking about bullying, countering all the nasty comments submitted on feeds and the hurtful jabs of the everpresent mocking in classrooms and school hallways.
Too many kids are taking their lives because they don’t think they can get past their preteen years. Let alone high school. And college. And the twenty-something decade.
They are so disheartened by the sheer volume of hatred and distaste being thrown at them. But Emily (and others) has made it easy to invert that message.
She has taught us that all we need is a permanent marker, some note cards, and a video camera. And we can bring this message of hope to life.
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