Years of hard work and you come away with the grand prize – a degree and a job! Kudos to you! And even though you are focused and dedicated, I know it hasn’t all been easy. You have worked hard and studied hard. You have proven yourself more than worthy of all you have attained and what you are given your receive with grace and gratitude.
As usual, though, I am more interested in who you are than what you have done. I care about your journey and your path from day to day. I’m interested in your view of the world and how you carry yourself through both blessings and adversity.
I am never disappointed.
I see you. I notice your tender heart beneath your scathing wit. I notice you thinking deeply about the world and what happens in it. I have great faith that you will be a part of the solution, not a part of the problems that face us globally.
Here’s where we get to the dicey part. After all, you are a grown man. Judging by your life so far, I don’t think you need advice, nor do I think I know what’s best for you. But, I have some dreams for you. And it’s okay for a grandmother to dream. I’ll share my dreams with you.
You have a sweet spirit so loving isn’t hard for you. But remember Rigoberta Menchu’s admonition to take care of yourself before you take care of others. It’s hard for any of us, but self-care is the strongest step toward self-love. If you love yourself first, your love for others can be deeper and stronger. You will become the dream lover who is able to look at others’ needs without anger and resentment.. You will be able to cherish without begrudging the love you give.
I hope you really play! When your play is as intense as your work – relax, dear man. Breathe deeply. Be okay with ridiculous. Laugh at silliness. Be the silliness. Split seconds of carefree can grow from minutes to hours if you nurture that image of yourself.
And on that subject, I’ll be watching for you to look beyond the confines of your career to enrich your life. Your work will give you great satisfaction but it probably won’t be enough. Keep in mind what gives you joy and seek it out. Every moment needn’t be “productive”. Nothing is a waste of time if it feeds your soul.
And although you know a lot – I hope you keep learning. It’s the easiest way to spark interest in each day. Whether it’s a job-related workshop that takes you to a new level or a way-out-in-left-field retreat on personalities or spirituality. Whether it’s an organized class, a thought-provoking book, or a group of friends who challenge your ideas and beliefs – I hope you keep adding knowledge and experiences that inspire you to grow.
I dream that you will use the bounty you possess – money, privilege, possessions, position – for good. Share. Dig into the memory of how it felt to give your Christmas money to feed the hungry at the Gospel Mission when you were a boy. When you feel yourself grasping for more even though you have plenty, pause and think. You’ll be watching out for those you love, but there may be others who need help along the way. We all have opportunities to make a great difference if we keep an open heart and mind.
I love and admire you right here, right now. I believe in who you are. And I will have much joy in being a part of your life as you discover your purpose and continue to hone yourself into the best you can be.