I posted this in late May on Facebook. I’m reposting it here so that if Facebook loses it I can find it here.
Last monday, I got to spend time with Nate and Garrett after a two-week absence. Knowing that I would be leaving again a few days after, I created a poster for them. When I got to the house in Ohio, I sat everyone down and presented these to the boys to post in their rooms, should they want to.
The text reads:
“Some things that I hope you have learned from our 10 years together.
Allow yourself to take care of yourself. A lot of people don’t. They put everyone else’s needs before their own. It’s okay to put some people before you, but not all of them because then you are left with nothing for yourself. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Always take care of yourself.
If you can choose kindness, always choose to be kind. There are few things in a person’s life that are more important than kindness. Sometimes it’s easy to be unkind because we think it will make us feel better. I’m this way sometimes, and I hate it because it never, ever makes me feel better. Not even for a minute. So, if you can choose kindness, always choose to be kind.
Let the people around you know that you care. It doesn’t just have to be the ones that you love most deeply, but anyone for whom you have any affection at all. Make sure you tell them that you enjoy their company, love them, or that you’re proud of them – whatever is appropriate for your feelings about that relationship. People make assumptions about your feelings, and they shouldn’t. Let the people around you know that you care.
Always set the example. People learn a little bit about you from the words that you say. They learn much more about you from the actions that you take. In fact, I’m sure you know the old saying that “actions speak louder than words.” That’s absolutely true. Kids will watch you and learn from you. Your friends will watch you and learn from you. Make sure you give them an example worth following. Because the truth is, actions are really the only thing that matters. Always set the example.
You will succeed at these things because you are, at your very hearts, good people. Like me and like everyone, you’ll fail sometimes, and sometimes quite spectacularly. What counts isn’t the failure, but how you conduct yourself afterward. Don’t let one incident define you. As long as you take care of yourself, choose kindness, let the people around you know that you care, and set the example, there’s not a single situation that you can’t come back from.”
I just love those two. ❤️