The world is a weird place. It’s full of lies and misconceptions. These are all aimed at achieving something that’s quite far away from a healthy self-esteem and a mature approach to decision-making. Instead, it’s often based on status, impulse, and negotiating good morals to get what we want. Learning our lessons can be so painful, too. So, here are some things that I want my child to know to save her the hassle of learning it the hard way:
- Don’t follow your heart. Your heart will take you places that your mind will warn you against. It is emotional and spontaneous. Think about your decisions carefully.
- Your health really is as important as everyone makes it out to be. Don’t play around with it, even though you’re still a child. Look after yourself from as early as possible.
- Don’t be late. Being punctual shows respect for others, and goes a long way in being included in all the fun stuff.
- Your looks aren’t as important as the world makes them out to be. As Rodriguez so succinctly puts it, “Don’t try to impress with your manner of dress, for a monkey in silk is a monkey no less.” Invest your energies into being a nice person, and this will radiate on the outside.
- Stay away from mean people. There’s something about us (women especially) that wants to be able to win others over. But, they’re fighting their own demons, and she needs to know that so that she doesn’t get hurt along their journey.
- Money means less than you think. Of course, we need money to enjoy nice things. But, earning that money also has a cost, and it doesn’t always equal the reward.
- Good friends are priceless. Trust them, love them and be loyal to them.
- Be brave. The world is going to hurl some gut-wrenching whoppers your way. But, nothing is insurmountable.
- In my Grade 7 yearbook, a child wrote, “Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.” Ah, the wisdom of a 12-year old. These words have resonated with me for 20 years, and I can’t say it any better than that.
- Have hobbies.You should have three types of hobbies – one that allows you to be creative, one that keeps you fit and one that makes money.
- You can never make someone else responsible for your happiness.
- Learn to say ‘no’.
There are plenty more, and she’ll learn them. Some will hurt, some will heal, but they’ll all make her grow.