Never forget that you are valued
and you are loved; value and love others as well.
Become a good listener. Listen especially
to the tales of old people.
Never stop dreaming; never stop
believing; never stop loving.
Advice to Grandkids
This column is affectionately dedicated to Taylor
Brett Bellah, born September 7, 1997.
In his best-selling Life's Little Instruction Book, a booklet
first written for a son going away to college, H. Jackson Brown puts together
over 500 suggestions for living a happy and meaningful life. As I look
at these short and practical words, most only a sentence long, it occurs
to me that all of us should compose similar thoughts for our children and
grandchildren, even our great grandchildren.
To that end, here is the advice I'd give my own descendents (perhaps,
you can use it to prompt your own list):
- Never forget that you are valued and you are loved; value and love
others as well.
- Strengthen your body while you're young and keep it fit in your early
adulthood; someday you'll be glad you did.
- Discover your own talents and become the best you can with them. Don't
try to be somebody else.
- Become a good listener. Listen especially to the tales of old people.
- Ask lots of questions.
- Become a student of history.
- Learn at least one foreign language well; do it before you're 25.
- Become an encourager.
- Stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves.
- Don't be intimidated by bullies.
- Be a loyal friend; stick close when others do not.
- Learn to play a musical instrument.
- Learn to sing in harmony.
- Learn to read well and then learn to love to read.
- Think for yourself. Don't assume that the majority is right.
- Learn to compromise. Everything can't go your way; nor should it.
- Always value people over things, a good friend above popularity.
- Save money regularly, even if it's only a little.
- Remember that love is the best way to change people, which means people
change most readily when they are accepted without change.
- Don't be naive. Let people earn your trust.
- Remember that things are not always what they seem. Learn to look behind
- Play is one of the most important things in life. Play hard and freely,
and don't stop when you're an adult.
- Work is important too. Discover ways to find pleasure in your work.
- When problems seem too hard, work on them a little at a time.
- Learn to sacrifice, for others, and on behalf of your own future.
- When you're disappointed, try to look at the big picture. Some day
your present problems won't seem so big.
- Don't give up easily and then only to begin a new fight.
- Never stop dreaming; never stop believing; never stop loving.
- Write lots of letters.
- Take lots of pictures.
- Keep a journal.
- Never forget how precious you are, how precious life is, and how precious