I have written and deleted and re-written this opening paragraph about six times already as I try and pull together my thoughts. It being Mother’s Day I thought of writing a post about all the life lessons I learned from my Mom. But as I got into it, I got a little emotional as the last time I saw my mom was two years ago on Mothers Day. So then I thought I would do a post based on the “Wind in the Willows” and go about mocking folks while referring to them as Mr. Toad or Mr. Mole or Ratty. That was a fun 20 minutes of writing but I ended up deleting that too. As as I am sitting here on this flight after spending a glorious weekend with my family I thought about what I would say to my son about the recent events. So this is what I ended up with.
1) Be proud of yourself. The things that you have worked for are great things and you should be proud of accomplishing them. I know your Mom and I sure are.
2) Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to draw a line in the sand and hold to it. You are descended for a long line of stubborn folks and despite a few bumps in the road, that determination will serve you well in life.
3) Do not begrudge anyone else for the things that they have accomplished. Just because you do not have the same things as others or are not able to do the same things, it is no reason to whine and complain and pitch a fit like a three year old. It makes you look foolish and people will wonder how your parents would let you carry on that way.
4) Choose your friends carefully. People that hang around only when things are good will soon vanish when times are tough. Find a friend that will not only bail you out of jail, but most likely be sitting there next to you. You know what I mean here.
5) Do not be the “I’m taking my ball and going home kid” no one likes him, he gets picked last at the playground, and ends up taking a cousin to the prom.
6) Stealing this one from Abe Lincoln. “It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”
7) If you poke the 400 pound bear with a stick long enough, he will rise up and remove your head from your shoulders. Think carefully about your actions and the reactions they will cause. I am not telling you to not stand up for yourself, or to not react when provoked. Just to think about whether is this a fight you want to get into. Are you willing to try and take that hill?
8 ) Lawyers are for wills, house closings, and for keeping large corporations in line. Any other use of the legal profession is shameful ambulance chasing and equates to calling for “mommy” when you pick a fight you can not win.
9) When someone kicks your friend. Do not stand by and do nothing.
10) There are just some things in life you will perceive as unfair. Suck it up. Rub some dirt on it. Move on to something else.
So now that I have typed this up and I am reading back through this, I know without any doubt that I would indeed tell these things to my son as these lessons were passed on from my parents. If only all kids these days had the benefit of a solid foundation.