If I had a son there are a few things I’d want him to know once I’m gone. My father wasn’t much of example to follow and most of my life’s lessons were delivered by pain, experience, the police, or injury. If anything his abiding contribution to my education in life was; don’t be like him. I’m in my mid 30’s now and admittedly that’s a long way from the end of the road but it’s far enough along the journey that I’ve started wondering about what I’ll leave behind when I kick, what will my legacy be? Have I mattered in this world, did I change anything? I guess we all want to know we left an imprint on those we met and the lives we passed through, I want to.
My first bit of advice would be to never live in fear. I’ve lived most of my life in fear of failure, of being like my dad, of being nothing. Often that fear has paralyzed me into inaction and doubt when boldness and charging forward was the surest path to success. The greatest men and women who have ever lived defied convention to go their own way. Often suffering withering criticism and ire by the establishment along the way because they believed in a better way and more importantly they believed in their self. Falling in line with the masses may be the safest way but it is death to the soul and a path to resentment for those with intelligence and imagination. It will be tempting but I promise you if you can weather the uncertainty and harshness life and ignore those who fear change you will come out on top and be a better man for it.
Related to this is to never be afraid to tell people to fuck off. This isn’t to say that you should make it your habit to annoy others or be cruel, judgmental, and indifferent. The world is filled to the brim with assholes who think they’re superior and clever. At first the world and you will welcome these people because their sarcasm and wit seems refreshing and new but it’s just bitterness disguised as humor and honesty. The world needs honesty and truth but not the kind that maliciously seeks to hurt and belittles others. More than honesty our world suffers from a lack of humility and compassion. Recognize these people for who and what they are and evict them from your life immediately they will turn on you and suck the life from you as soon as they see a weakness or way to exploit it. Facebook is filled with these negative, toxic, leeches. They have no life and no real friends so they seek to destroy others.
Speaking of Facebook avoid it. If by some cruel twist of fate social media is still around when you’re older unplug, tune out, and go outside. You need real friend’s son, the kind you see every day, talk to, hang out with, play sports with, drink with, and grow up with. A computer is not a friend and this idea of friendship has poisoned my generation and those behind us. We spend all day surrounded by people and never ending updates of our “friends” actions and never have we been more alone, frustrated, and empty. Relationships are priceless and those you build with your family and the people you grow up with need to be the most important of your life. I don’t know any of my cousins, never talk to my brother and sister, and don’t even know if my dad is still alive. It’s no way to live. It’s a life lacking color and warmth.
Take care of yourself son, start eating right and working out as soon as possible. Your great grandfather didn’t need to work out and he ate stuff that would gag a maggot but he worked a job filled with back breaking labor 12 hours a day. He also started working when he was 12, and literally walked to school barefoot in the snow (true story.) Your body might just be the only thing in this world that is ever truly your own and I promise you this it only takes a short while to wreck it but putting it back together again takes much, much longer. I’ve been mostly fit for the majority of my life and it’s kept me looking ten years younger than most people my age, and it’s also kept me out of the doctor’s office. Start a healthy life when you’re young and you will never regret it. Besides you want to be able to play with your kids one day not have them push you around in a wheelchair.
To Be continued…..