My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
When we were kids, grandma taught us to reflect each nights on the activities of that day: what did we do well? what could we improve? what lessons did we learn from our actions and behaviors? etc. It made us into a bunch of insomniacs.
But, the lesson was not totally lost. Now, I limit my retrospection to only every other night, when I cannot sleep anyway and wake up between the hours of 2:00 – 3:30 A.M. (Yes, that nasty habit of getting up by 3:30 A.M. to do the work made impossible by constant interruptions at the office has been a nasty habit to break.)
In those hours, I read newspapers from all over the world and catch up on human follies. It never ceases to astound me how self-important we think we are. The Age of Social Media has fed that beast and made it even more insatiable. (Those “friends” and “followers” on Facebook, Twitter, etc., are strangers and false friends, not real friends at all. Few, if any, will come to your aid or really be there when you need.)
The truth of the matter is people are too busy worrying themselves and what other people think of them to spend much thought on you. So, don’t worry about what other people think about you. They rarely do, if at all.
Release yourself from the prisons others impose on you.
- The marketing people say you must wear this brand shoes or that brand shirt, or drink this brand drink to be cool. They’re not thinking about you: they’re thinking about how to get rich off you. Ignore them.
- Politicians, teachers, police officers, and other public servants tell you how you must behave to make their work easier for them. Don’t buy their nonsense: make them do the jobs they are paid to do by our tax dollars. For example, instead of helping kids learn self control, schools rush to get kids diagnosed with ADHD and medicated for ease of control. One in five kids today are being medicated for ADHD. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/20/medicated-kids.aspx; and, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/suffer-the-children/201203/why-french-kids-dont-have-adhd. The police, who voluntarily chose to become officers, lament the dangers of their jobs as an excuse to abuse and terrorize the public who hired them and who they swore to protect, requiring the public to now force them to wear body cameras in order to protect ourselves from their abuses. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/04/police_body_cameras_cops_commit_less_violence_and_complaints_are_real.html. According to statistics, loggers, fishermen, farmers, laborers, taxi drivers, groundskeepers, and eight other professions are more dangerous than policing, yet we don’t see evidence of them inflicting violence on other people every day as you do the police. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/01/28/charted-the-20-deadliest-jobs-in-america/.
- Others who don’t have your best interests at heart will try to cajole or shame you into being what they want you to be. “I like you better with your hair like this.” “You’re too short.” “You’re too smart for us.” Don’t let them define who you are.
Be you. Be the best you. Focus on doing (1) what’s right and (2) treating people with kindness.
(Mind you, regarding the latter, I’m not saying be a carpet and let people walk all over you in the name of kindness. That is not being kind: it is being stupid. It is your responsibility to teach people how to treat you. Never let them treat you poorly.)
You guys are awesome. Be awesome.
All my love, always,