There are a lot of things that I want my sons to know when they grow up, and I can’t assume that I will be around to tell them because life is fickle and fleeting and nothing is a guarantee. So, as I was driving home from somewhere earlier this week, I got to thinking about the things I would like to say to them when they enter adulthood that life may not afford me the opportunity to voice in person. This is what I would say to them.
Respect the women in your lives. Always. You won’t realise this because society at large would have you believe that men and women are equals, but this is not true in a lot of ways. There will be many things in your lives which you can do that a woman simply cannot, and I can tell you from experience that this is a tough pill for many of us to swallow. So, when you meet a woman who demands that you respect her opinions and choices, trust me when I tell you that you have met more than your equal, because that woman will have battled through exchanges with many a man before you who has tried to tell her that she is worth less than he is purely because she is a woman. She is not.
Don’t take drugs. Seriously. I’ll haunt the shit out of you if you do.
Don’t stay in a dead end or abusive relationship because you’ve convinced yourself that that’s all there is or that you are somehow fundamentally unlovable. It isn’t and you are not.
Money is important. I’d love to tell you otherwise, but I’m not going to lie to you. Having enough money in life is vital. But happiness is important too, so when you enter the working world, find yourself a job that provides you with enough money to be secure and that makes you happy. And be aware that it might be a while before you can have both at the same time.
Be kind. I won’t tolerate you being anything else, so I refer again to the haunting. Do you want your mother’s ghost to empty your bedroom drawers all over the floor every day while you’re out in the world being a twunt? No. So just be kind.
Have ambition. Don’t settle for less in life because it’s easier. In everything you do, be brave and put yourself out there. It’s better to take a giant leap and fail than to play it safe and fail anyway. And learn from every failure, because you won’t always succeed, but there’s no reason why failure should mean that you give up entirely.
Travel. By that I don’t mean go tramping off around the globe for endless months, but see some of the world because it’s a colourful and diverse little planet and you can learn a lot from it.
Love. With everything you have, with every fibre of your being, love. Giving away your heart is terrifying, but keeping it in a cage so you can’t get hurt will only lead to hurting others, and you don’t want to be responsible for somebody else’s heartache if you can possibly avoid it.
Don’t ever be too proud to say you’re sorry or admit that you are wrong. You stand to lose far more by being stubborn than you ever could from admitting to your mistakes and doing what you can to put them right.
Finally, remember that you are loved. Even when you annoy the crap out of me, I still love you. There is nothing you can ever do to change that, although I would strongly advise against you testing the boundaries by murdering anybody.