I have spent many an evening to this point speaking to fathers. I want to speak to my children today. I want to impart knowledge to you that I have gained as a father, and as a person on this earth during a miniscule thirty-seven years. I pray all who read it can gain something positive from it as well.
Every day is a chance to make this world better.
"Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good." - Marcus Aurelius
My children, I speak to you today with specifics that you may not fully understand at this time. You mean the world to me. You cost more money, take more time, and stress me more than any other entity in this life. Yet you are the most important, most rewarding, and greatest thing I have ever been a part of. I am attempting to live by what I am writing to you. I am attempting to give you portions of these foundational tenets right now in your lives. I wish to guide you on this path of life to the best of my ability. It is my job, my duty as your father. I care so deeply to fulfill my duty to you three.
I want to write to you what I feel is important for you as individuals. What I feel is important to not only make it through life, but to live with happiness and satisfaction. I do not know everything, far from it, but I do attempt to offer my collected knowledge to advance yours.
Find yourselves and be confident
The world is a swirling mass of people. We are rapidly approaching the mark of 8 billion people on this planet. It is made of all types. It is cliché, but you are the only you. You are truly special, you do not need to feel drowned out by the masses. Find what interests you, find out what motivates you, take hold of these motivations and let that guide you forward through our society and in your life.
Do not let the world tell you where you belong or what you should be. Hold true to yourself and have the courage to stand on your personality, heart, and soul. Be right in yourself, be proud of yourself, but be humble and use your confidence to build up others around you. Confidence can be present without being a braggart. Unwavering belief in your ability can be present without self absorption. Use the experiences around you to build a strong foundation under you. If you are able to see more of the world around you, and the people in it. I feel you will advance your perspective other than the small tunnel that many can live in. When it comes to your morals and values they must be influenced by those wider perspectives and the worldly education that comes with more life seen and experience.
I never want you to feel alone. Challenging times can isolate you, or make you feel that no one can understand. Please know that your mom and I will be here for you always. No matter what, please come to us and let us combat any problem together.
Know that social media, TV, movies, society trends are not what should influence your mind, attitude, or action. Do not allow clothes, cars, phones, video games, or the internet define you. They are materialistic and do not last long. Ground yourself and consume more real, more sustainable forms of life sustenance. Make yourself more complex than what the newest app says one should be. You are the one and only you. Make that person original, unique and stable.
There is one characteristic of a human's personality that I hold higher than all others.
I appreciate the person that is the same person in constant no matter the world’s stressors. I appreciate the person that builds confidence in their person and projects this stability to the world. Stability of a person matters in relationships, in educational pathways, and in employment. I can trust a stable person, I can put faith in them when the proverbial poop hits the fan.
Stability of mind and being will be a lifelong pursuit and is not easy to attain. We are an emotional species. It will be something that I challenge you to constantly work for. If you are able to sustain this effort you will find many around you will come to you for assistance and friendship. In a world of flux stability is a quality that is sought after and is required for societal advancement and responsibility.
Train to maintain a strong course in the highs and lows of life. You will appreciate the good times more, and the bad times will not drag you down so low. Your emotions, chemicals that cause emotions will be under better control. Guard yourself from rapid emotional change, practice control in all forms. With more stable chemistry, your body will have less stress and a bettered mental/physical wellness.
Stability is built out of your positive personality, your faith, and your self worth. These are not simple facets, but I hope to help you in the formation of those foundations.
Stable structures take stress from the wind, water, sun, and earth and continue to do their job in their rigid placement. Be a stable structure for yourself, for those around you no matter what force comes to you.
It is a cliché, BE KIND. It is on bumper stickers, it is on shirts. The message has been used in many ways. I am asking to stop and truly understand what this means. We have choices in the short span of time we are on this earth. We can affect ourselves and those around us with the practice of kindness. It is more sustainable than hatred. It will carry you further, and gain respect versus disdain. It will allow a continued course through this life instead of retaliation and obstacles. Kindness will build friendships, it will advance your life experience, it will raise your standing and influence. Hatred will lead to the direct opposite.
Use religious teachings of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam to guide yourself and your actions. It is to be kind to all you encounter, practice a higher order in treatment of those you come into contact with. Treat people with genuine kindness. Practice legitimate altruism. Smile, say hello, give respect and by and large, respect will be given in return. Open doors for someone, let people go in front of you on the road or in line. Listen more, take time before you respond, especially in emotional situations. Ask people if you can help them. Stay the course in correct being because it is the right thing to do by any mark in human interaction. Maintain a real positive presence based in kindness and it will affect more people than you can know.
I do use another cliché, do not let kindness be taken as a weakness. Being tactful, professional, and kind does not mean weak. Use a calm tone, respectful verbiage, and attempt de-escalation of any given situation. Use that principle to the final doorstep of discourse. Never feel you have to bend to violent, angry, unstable individuals. Show respect, show them you will not be intimidated, and if need be defend yourself with ferocity.
Build, do not destroy
In the world of chemistry you have anabolic reactions as well as catabolic reactions. In basic form anabolic is a building reaction. Catabolic is a destructive reaction.
The world is full of people building, and people breaking down. Those who cause reactions to themselves, to those directly around them, and those who enact these reactions on a larger scale to a larger sphere of influence.
I want you to be a builder. I want you to constantly build yourself up. Build from challenges, mental and physical. Life will challenge you, it will stop, divert, or hurt you. It could be present after failure, prior to a large event in your life. It could be on the precipice of a great challenge or at the end of a phase in your life. Build yourself constantly, no matter what breakdown action occurs. Build up those around you. Shield or care for those that have been broken down. Use your confidence in your person to be a light to those around you.
With more people acting as builders, this world will construct a more stable society, and a more collective positive heart. Be a part of this movement. Technology will advance, our population will grow, our nation is and will wrestle with this growth. I need you to be a part of this action to show the wonderful positivity of the human soul. Versus the sad and very visible actions of those unhappy with themselves. Only desiring to break others down around them as a lashing reaction to the world.
Do not let the catabolic reactions define you or the world as we can make it. Be builders.
I have found much of this world must be earned by hard work. Expect NOTHING to be given to you. Opportunities should be shown gratitude and humility, but prepare yourself to work hard at every station in life. Practice a level of relentless work ethic and dedication to a higher craft of your life. Constant effort, unwavering discipline to your person and your path paves roads that no one can stop.
You may not be the strongest, the smartest, the biggest, the fastest, or the best looking. You must be the one willing to outwork all others. A relentless attitude can be built up, sharpened and advanced. You can make up for almost any deficiency with hard work. If someone says you cannot accomplish something, ignite a fire within you and motivate you to show anyone otherwise. Be a proverbial warrior in this effort. A proper discipline to your surroundings will give more opportunities and you will receive more trust and responsibility. Make yourself indispensable by your constant effort.
Work harder, work longer, with a happy heart. I promise the world will return your investment.
Practice life with an honorable standard
I have lived a portion of my life with the perspective of how infinitesimal we are on this continent, on this planet, and this universe. It is a humbling perspective and can cause mental stress. I use it as motivation to fulfill my purpose. We are only here for a very short period of time, and we only get one chance to make use of this terrestrial life. I challenge you to live it with a higher purpose.
The majority of this encouragement can be based on my desire for you to live with honor.
Honor can be defined as “adherence to what is right or a conventional standard of conduct”. Many organizations preach honor. Many religions hold to this definition as well. I feel that organizations, humans, and religion can fall short with other failures and stringencies that they pertain to.
As humans on this earth I feel it is very simple what is right and what is wrong. There are varying shades of gray no doubt, but you will be hard pressed to find debate on what is right to do to another human versus what is wrong. I want you to hold to this universal code of conduct. Do what is right daily and over your continued life. Use honor in your daily life by living a certain way, to a specific standard. Hold to this standard in constant because it is right for yourself and for all those around you.
The world will tempt you, many people you encounter will encourage you to live like them. Surround yourself with others that make you better and practice honor that I have defined and you will have a lot less stress and misfortune in your life.
Honor yourself and honor others. It is a lifestyle approach that can keep you from the pitfalls of the world.
The sage Cesar quote of old rang true for me when I first read it. We’ve got one shot. This shot is a gift. Make the best of it, be happy, be thankful for the gifts of life and what is around you. Give your happiness to your family and friends. Do small goodness everyday, strive for larger goodness throughout your life. Be a leader in this manner.
You are good people my kids. You will grow up to do great things. I am so very proud of you already. I love you and am excited to watch where you will go and what you will accomplish.