My father died when I was little. My mother did what she could with me after, but only up to a point. Sometimes I wish that my parents had been more involved in my education. That they took me aside and told me that…
1. Reading can be fun
If you’re not enjoying it, you’re probably not reading the right sort of books. Forget about those boring books they give you at school. Let’s go to a bookshop and buy some books together.
2. You can eat healthy and enjoy it
You can even cook your own food. It’s easy and doesn’t take that long. Forget about salami and French fries and chips and pizza and ice-cream and Fanta. Here, this is a green apple. Crunchy, isn’t? And this is hummus. And these are chickpeas. Aren’t chickpeas yummy?
3. Having a pet is fun
You may have to feed Tommy or Rex and clean after them when you don’t feel like it, but then they’re nice to have around. Here, scratch Tommy behind the ear… Listen to him purr and you will understand.
4. You shouldn’t be afraid of girls
Girls may be strange, kid, especially at your age, but you don’t mind them. Let them laugh at you. You can laugh at them in your turn. That way you’ll be laughing together. To laugh together with someone, that’s a big thing kid.
5. You can do your own thing in life
You don’t have to become a lawyer or a doctor or work in an office. Maybe you’ll be happier if you turn out to be a skater or a football player. You know, son, I’d rather you to go to college and become a doctor than become a skater, but if skating is your thing, that’s fine with me.
6. Buying things won’t make you happy, not for long
All those smiling faces in the ads promise easy happiness, but once you buy the thing, you’ll get used to it and then want another thing, and another, and another.
7. If you’re not religious, try at least to be spiritual
Life is richer when we believe in things we cannot see or touch. Believe in something greater than yourself, that transcends your day to day life, my son. Believe in Jesus or in Buddha or in Shiva or in life outside our solar system. But believe in something. It’s something intangible like that that you can hold on to in the dark when all the things you can touch become useless.
8. Don’t just look at things. See them
You can look at the sky every day for the rest of your life and not see it once. You can look at trees and not see them. You can pass by beggars and not see them. You may marry one day and you may live with your wife in the same house every day and yet you may not see her at all until she dies and becomes a photograph in your album. And if you look at a flower, don’t look only at the petals when they are in bloom. It’s the tiny details that can add depth to your life.
9. Be more content with what you have than you are disappointed with what you don’t have
You are healthy, you are young, you have a house, you have grandparents, you have us. You have so many things… I know you want more than this. but most of the days in your life your glass won’t be full. It will be half-full or half-empty. You can choose how you see it.
10. Don’t contradict people if you can help it
Not even when they are wrong. Not even when you are right. Don’t criticize them. Arguing with people will get you nowhere. You can’t change people like that. The most that you can do is try to understand them.