Things I want my kids to learn and appreciate.

I am not a parent nor do I plan to be one in the upcoming years. However there are things I’ve been contemplating lately that I am very determined that I want my future kids to learn and appreciate. Some of these are more personal and trivial things like appreciating the beauty of music and nature and some are more serious, like how to treat others. Regardless, here is a list of what I’ve got so far. HOWEVER, I’m not under any false pretenses that I know how to parent or that this list won’t change/expand. These are just things I think it’s good for upcoming generations to be exposed to, especially if I’m the one sending them into the world.

 

  1. Appreciate a really good chord/ note in a song.
  2. Understand that everything you do effects someone or something else, nothing is free of consequences.
  3. This includes the environment, learn to appreciate the beauty of nature and understand that you are responsible for how your actions impact nature, plants, animals, etc.
  4. You can only control yourself, even though you have a responsibility to the world, it is not your sole responsibility to make everything ok.
  5. Dress and do your hair so that you feel confident and comfortable. I rocked the sweatpants with polo ensemble in middle school so I have no place to judge here, and neither does anyone else.
  6. Savor really good foods. Don’t be unhealthy but for the love of God if you want to eat half a block of cheese, do it.
  7. Work really hard at the things that make you happy.
  8. Also, do your best in school, while I’m not expecting straight A’s, effort is important.
  9. Don’t ever take a job that makes you unhappy. If you hate it, it will be obvious.
  10. Don’t be a bum. Just because you don’t like one job, doesn’t mean there aren’t others. Life isn’t about a free ride.
  11. Who people are are not what they look like. I’ll just leave that there.
  12. Do not ever think that you are better than someone else based on things that they cannot control. (Looks, intelligence, ability, etc.)
  13. Don’t surround yourself with people that make you feel like less than you are because of things you can’t control.
  14. Don’t let society decide how you should feel about others.
  15. Going with that, treat everyone with the same respect and give everyone the same opportunities.
  16. Don’t let fear run your life, but in contrast don’t let anyone make you feel like your fears are stupid, because they aren’t.
  17. Ask every question. Don’t be afraid to explore. But ask questions with kindness, not an accusing tone.
  18. Find mentors that can help you along the way. While it may seem overrated, parents and teachers tend to know a thing or two and can help.
  19. Never back down on an issue that’s important to you.
  20. If there is a bully beating another kid up, feel free to stop it. Don’t by-stand. While I don’t usually condone violence, it’s ok to defend yourself and anyone who is in harm’s way.
  21. Have favorites. Have a favorite animal, color, song, just have an opinion. But don’t feel like your opinion can’t change or expand.
  22. Don’t settle with love. But really. Be single, date casually, date a lot. You don’t have to find the perfect person in high school or college, or even in your 20s. Wait until you find someone who really fits you.
  23. Watch all of the sad movies. Cry at the end of The Notebook. Sob during Marley and Me. Male or female it doesn’t matter, you are entitled to your emotions.
  24. Also, try to find humor in everything. Try to laugh every day and don’t be a stick in the mud.
  25. Don’t give up. We all feel that sometimes the world is crumbling and that we are helpless but every day that you wake up on this Earth and have air in your lungs, you are not hopeless and you do have some control. It may not be a lot but you have the opportunity to make a change.

In the light of recent events, it’s hard for some people to believe this last one. Trust me, I’m having a hard time too. But if this is something you think you’d tell your children/ future children, then it applies to yourself as well. Don’t leave responsibilities to the next generation or even the next person in line. Do something. Do anything. And don’t give up, because you’re still here, we’re all still here, and we can do something.

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