My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
I hope you are well today. Recently, a neighborhood kid encountered some personal challenges, and his parents responded by clearing his plates of all challenging matters and telling him it is not necessary for him to challenge himself regarding anything. That struck me as a less than ideal strategy.
Today, another neighborhood kid shared with me his excitement at achieving something I’d shown him how to do earlier. This struck me as being the natural order of things. See, e.g., https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/nurturing-resilience/201202/summer-camps-make-kids-resilient.
Kids need challenges in order to learn and grow. Denying them challenges is to deny them opportunities to grow.
Life is but a series of challenges. If you love your children, prepare them for life. Don’t hobble them by removing the challenges and making their lives easy.
“Per aspera ad astra, Papa,’ I whispered. Through hardship to the stars.”
― Ruta Sepetys
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
― T.S. Eliot
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho
“If we are not allowed to deal with small problems, we will be destroyed by slightly larger ones. When we come to understand this, we live our lives not avoiding problems, but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future.”
― Jim Stovall
Embrace challenge, my sons. Be persistent. Live fully.
All my love, always,