My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
Live not timidly. Go after life with zest. Squeeze every drop from each day.
Don’t live in fear and timidity. What’s there to be afraid of? People laughing at you? Who cares? Who are they to hold such sway over you? Don’t give them that power.
Don’t be a sheep that only follows the herd. In the U.S., we profess to prize individuality and individual freedom; yet, as a society, we hammer down the nail that sticks out. Notice how the other kids treat classmates who do not wear the latest fashion, who like things that are not popular, etc. The crowd rags on those kids.
Be stronger than the crowd — like when Jaialai said “so what?” to kids who teased him about watching My Favorite Pony. “They have cool characters,” he said. Soon, all the boys were watching and talking about the show. (People follow because they have no direction of their own. Why follow them?)
Do what you love, and stay focused on what you are doing. Never mind the naysayers and kibitzers. They are a dime a dozen and will always around. Focus on doing your job, the task before you. Don’t worry about them.
For example, I was a pre-med in college before switching to psychology and political science. Family members tried to dissuade me. But, my path has given me much joy, funded my travels and work overseas, and enabled me to have a good life with you.
Do what you love, and it won’t feel like work. You’ll enjoy yourself, and your passion will motivate you to do your best. Fortune, prestige, promotions, etc., will surely follow. Focus on you doing what you love and doing your best, and I promise good fortune will follow.
All my love, always,