For the Kids

Don’t go getting any ideas about summer.

How ever could we have known, that the spring season’s arrival was on notice 10 weeks and a day ago, when I started to reflect on what I would want to teach the kids – my nieces and nephews – about life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because we were spiraling there for a bit, as a culture.

Little did we know (well, some of us were aware and preppin’, and people have died trying to tell the story – but that’s not what this is about, so as we were). The COVID-19 pandemic was about to thrust us, all of humanity, into a global moment of stillness and uncertainty and change that none of us anticipated, escaped, or avoided, and I could not stop thinking about tomorrow. Still am.

I hope every day that tomorrow is better than yesterday. In an effort to pack light for my grave, and because sharing is caring, I give you what I’ve sorted out so far. The time is right now, after all.

I don’t know much, but this is what I’ve learned.

Life is hard

And in the immortal words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Life is unpredictable. Don’t make it harder for yourself, and do not make it harder for others. The opposite, in fact. Shine your light wherever you go. The best part of life is it’s meant to be shared. You don’t have to go at it alone because you are not alone. Not literally, not figuratively. The path in front of you may be yours and yours alone, and people will come and people will go, but it is all that much more fun when you share your light with the community you make along the way. Do not traffic in blame or guilt or shame – feel those feelings and release those feelings. Move forward unburdened.

Look out for Number 1

I know. It’s counterintuitive to encourage you to open up to others whilst pushing ya toward selfishness…but it is good to be selfish as in centered within yourself. Look, end of the day, you’re the only one of you, and you gotta make peace with that and love yourself first, and take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else, and always be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself, even if it makes you look silly or if it’s weird to your friends and family – we’re all weird. They can get over it. Nurture yourself, and do remember the Golden Rule. Look out for yourself, but #DoMore for others. Give what you can when you can.

Don’t be an asshole

Yeah, all o’ that said, don’t be an asshole.

Ama Sua, Ama Llulla, Ama Quella

Be grateful

Be mindful

I have spent a lot of my life being thoughtful. Courteous. Agreeable. Failing miserably every single day. Trying to get from point A to point B, but planning for way down the line, too – another exercise in futility, btw. Life is always going to feel go-go-go the more you participate in the rush of it all. Be mindful of where you are. The destination is the journey, the journey is the destination, sure…OK…whatever. This is it. This is your life. Where you are and how you are – that’s what matters. Of course, who you are (not an asshole) is important. Here and now and how is all you got. Be wherever you are, in the moment (go take a mental pic and you will see the world), the best you can be. If you get stuck, take a beat, look around ya. It’s gonna be alright. Enjoy the moment because it goes by so quickly.

Live your best life

But remember, there are a lot of people out there trying to do the same thing, with varying degrees of success, taste, privilege, and opportunity – as well as countless, nameless more all over the place who aren’t as fortunate. When I was a kid, my mom would tell me not to eat around my plate, that there were kids in Africa who were going without. (Everyone’s mom has a version of that old story.) Now, today, I know she needn’t have gone that far: There is a lot of need all around us. Enjoy your life, and don’t forget that charity begins at home. Pay your fortune forward. It’s a savage world, and everything can and does change like that, in the blink of an eye. The best gifts in life are the ones you have to give. See if you can free someone else, help someone else rise, love someone else. That’s the best. That’s kind of the whole point of life, to love and be loved in return.

Be at peace, for peace

Own your shit

As Lisa Rinna would say.

Make the necessary adjustments

Especially if you’re being an asshole.

Seek and speak truth

It’s a lot warmer in the light.

Don’t apologize for choosing your choices

Speak and write well 

When u cut crnrs things fall a part

Teach someone something

Every day, if you can manage it.

Know and Remember Your Rights, Alright

Never apologize for being exactly who you are, either, and remember that your rights begin and end where someone else’s begin and end, OK.

Know that you’re never done learning

Even when you think that you have figured out a few things, you can always learn more. As I typed this I realized that this writing and publishing and share was overdue. So much is. Keep at it.

You are magic on Earth

Capable of more magic. Be magic. Give magic.

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