Advice for My Boys
My days are often filled with telling my boys things. Please close the door. That Lego sword is not meant to go in your ear. Or your nose. Please put underwear on. That's meant to be a snack, not a meal. Ya know - the things you tell boys all day long.
Sometimes the constant chatter of the everyday life of raising little humans, leaves me too tired to really tell them the things I want them to know. The lessons to really help them in life, not just protect their ears (and their rears).
If I had the energy, and my boys had the attention span, I would sit them down and offer them these bits of worldly wisdom. My advice for my boys...
- Make your own happy. Your happiness is your own responsibility. No one else ruins your life or drags you down unless you allow them to. This doesn't mean you will never be unhappy. It means if you find yourself unhappy, do something about it. If you don't like something in your life, change it, or change how you think about it, or get rid of it.
- Don't judge others. Different is just that - different - not right or wrong. Spend your time figuring out what works for you, instead of deciding what doesn't work for others. If someone else approaches work, family, themselves, or values differently than you - let them. Live your life, not theirs. Lead by example, and only offer advice if asked for it. Even then, offer to share what works for you, without preaching that everyone should do it.
- Believe. Believe in yourself, in others, in God's plan, in miracles, in humanity. You will sometimes be disappointed, or feel let down; but you will also sometimes be simply amazed.
- Say yes where you can make a difference. Invite someone to have dinner with your family, help a friend, care for a stranger. Say yes to helping someone in need instead of worrying about if you have the money, or the time, or the patience. When you say yes to God's plan, things seem to have way of working themselves out.
- Know how to forgive. There are two kinds of forgiveness - the kind that fixes a relationship and the kind that allows you to move on from one. It's important to know when to use each one. Don't wish someone ill-will, but know that it's ok to move on from a relationship that isn't healthy anymore. And the relationships that are worth keeping, require you to forgive, because love is messy, and unkind, and selfish at times.
Maybe my strive for intentionality will help me to impart these life lessons to my boys. Maybe they will learn from my actions as I try to live this advice myself. Maybe one day we will be blessed with a moment of quiet and I can slide some pearls of wisdom in.
Or maybe, someday, my boys will come across this post, these words of mine that live on forever in the expanse of connected data. And just maybe, they will smile, and think they knew I was telling them this all along, just not in so many words.