A powerful letter from a mother to her daughter is offering a message that can inspire anyone.
Blogger Toni Hammer has a 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. On Friday, she shared a touching Facebook post addressed to her daughter.
“Don’t apologise when someone else bumps into you. Don’t say ‘sorry to be such a pain.’ You’re not a pain. You’re a person with thoughts and feelings who deserves respect,” she wrote.
“Don’t make up reasons as to why you can’t go out with a guy you don’t wanna go out with. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. A simple ‘no thanks’ should be acceptabl.
“Don’t overthink what you eat in front of people. If you’re hungry, eat, and eat what you want. If you want pizza, don’t get a salad just because other people are around. Order the damn pizza.”
Hammer also advised her daughter not to keep her hair long just to please others, wear a dress if she doesn’t want to, hide her opinions, say “yes” just to be polite, and more.
“Don’t apologise for being who you are,” she concluded. “Be brave and bold and beautiful. Be unapologetically you.”
Hammer’s post received nearly 3,000 likes and has been shared more than 2,000 times. She told HuffPost she wrote this post because her daughter started kindergarten this year, which led to a lot of anxiety for the mum, who had a hard time in school.
“I was picked on a lot as a kid and I hate the idea of her going through what I did. I know it won’t be long before someone tries to make her feel ‘less than’ and I want her to face it with more confidence then I had at that age,” she said.
Hammer explained that she wants her daughter to grow up with a strong sense of who she is, what she wants and how to live according to those values, rather than what she believes others want her to be.
“I want to raise a daughter who is as confident as she is kind, who fights for those who can’t fight for themselves, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and work hard to make the world a better place,” the mum said. “Someone who is a lover of justice and believes change can happen.:
Although the post was addressed to her daughter, Hammer believes anyone who reads it should be able to follow the advice in their own lives by remembering to live according to what makes them happy, not what pleases others.
“The world needs us,” said Hammer. “Not who we think others want us to be.”
This article originally appeared on the US edition of HuffPost.