Unsolicited Advice to My Children

Parents and children have a highly evolved disconnect on the subject of unsolicited advice: Parents feel compelled to give it, and children have no wish to receive it. Parents have a biological need to dispense the fruit of their experience, and children have an equal need to roll their eyes and ignore it. But it’s tradition; after all, Franklin and Jefferson did it, and as a paean to tradition, I’ll give it a stab as well. Actually mine will be hidden since it appears in an unread blog. This allows me the pleasure of giving it without the annoyance of the eye-rolling. But in fact, it’s probably more advice to me than to my children. So, here goes.

Live within your means; find a good life partner; forgive freely; seek happiness, knowing that material things are not the means to it; do meaningful work; be not too proud, remembering that some of your accomplishment is the result of sheer good fortune and unearned gifts; be sparing in complaint; be slower to judge others; find humor in the everyday; give more, take less; love more; strive to find the right thing and to do it; share and be generous; try to leave the world a tiny bit better than when you entered it; temper justice with compassion; cry some, but laugh often.

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