Like any new father, I’ve spent the past week in awe and in love with my daughter, and thinking about raising a baby girl into a grown woman and all that will go into being her dad, including passing along wisdom about life to help her along. I’ve had about 44 years to compile a perspective — and though there are so many lessons I will learn with her along the way, as I have thought this week about what kind of person I hope my daughter will be, I’ve come up with a list of core lessons or perspectives on life that I hope she learns from me as she grows up.
1. Your mom and dad love you very much. Always.
2. Your big brother is about the best kid in the whole wide world. You’ve hit the lottery getting him as a brother. Love him, and learn from him.
3. Family always comes first. Your brother, your mother and I will not always be your favorite dance partners, but when we want to spend time or when one of us needs you, your family is your priority. Someday you will understand why this is so important.
4. All four of your grandparents are remarkable people with stories to tell, things to teach, experience to share and love to give. Respect them and love them with all your might, because your time with them is limited.
Who You Are
5. Always be honest and act with integrity. Trust takes a lifetime to build and moments to ruin. In the end, all you really have is your reputation for honesty and integrity – and if you squander that, you can never get it back.
6. Enjoy learning things; it’s one of the things that will make you feel most alive, because love of learning keeps you striving for more. Never stop learning. Don’t forget, too, that school is not the only place you will learn.
7. Ask questions. A lot of them. Once you’ve gotten the answers, be willing to challenge some of them. Respectfully. Without challenging the status quo, the world would never change. Also be willing to accept some of them. Respectfully. Rebelling just for the sake of rebelling isn’t courage, it’s being a punk. Your job is to become wise enough to know which answers are the ones you should accept and which you should not.
8. Your favorite question should be “What’s next?” When you’ve had one adventure, look for another. When you’ve accomplished something you’ve never been able to do before, look for another challenge. When you’ve achieved something remarkable – maybe even something that no one thought you could do – set another goal and set about achieving it. It’s not that you should never be content; it’s that you should never rest on your laurels. Toss your cap over the next wall and figure out how to go over the wall to retrieve it. Push yourself to do more. You’ll be amazed at where your brain, body and spirit will take you. Continue reading