Alice wrote a great entry at Wonderland today. It references Randy Pausch and the “Last Lecture” phenomenon which I caught onto several months ago. But – the point of Alice’s article was – what would you tell your children if you were not going to be there for them forever? What lessons would you want them to know? To remember forever?
I decided I’d try to come up with a list for my kids:
1) Remember the impact your subtle gestures and few words can have on someone’s day. Opt for being patient and spreading kindness. You won’t regret it.
I learned this lesson working fast food in high school. Nothing teaches you the value of a smile from a stranger more than serving hundreds of assholes for lunch.
2) There are always going to be people who don’t like you or who will make fun of you. Avoid them if you can, and if you can not? Try to ignore them. The more you think about their opinions of you the more power you give them. Don’t give them that power. Master a good EYEROLL, it is the best response to jerks.
Consider me an expert. I was called every insult in the book growing up. I had bad skin and wore a headgear with my braces. I was openly mocked for having to duplicate outfits during a week or wearing generic tennis shoes. I’ve been there, trust me.
3) There will be more people you encounter in your life that are different from you than are the same. Don’t blindly assume they can not teach you anything. Just because they wear different clothes doesn’t mean they can’t teach you about art. Or simply because they go to a different church (or any church at all) doesn’t mean they can’t recommend a good book. Be Open.
Even to republicans.
4) Don’t take those who take care of you for granted. Whether it’s a supportive spouse, a hard-working parent, or a thoughtful mentor. If they do something that helps you in any way, be thankful.
Seriously. Take it from the person who changed your diapers and washed your clothes: A little appreciation goes a long way. Especially if that appreciation takes the form of back rubs or pedicures.
5) When deciding who to hang out with, date, or marry – find people who make you laugh. Forget muscles, money, or hairlines. In the end – being surrounded by people who make you laugh will be the most valuable resource when times get tough.
Of course, this is easy for me to say. I married someone who is a damn hott stud. But he also makes me laugh.
6) Keep a good grasp on your inner child. Whether that means dressing up for Halloween, riding roller coasters, or doing chalk drawings in your driveway.
This also means laughing at farts. A lesson I’m still trying to teach myself.
What else would you add?