42 things I will teach my teenage boys…
1. You have a penis. It comes with responsibilities.
2. Girls have vaginas. If you’re not careful, you can create responsibilities.
3. I don’t care who you love, as long as you try to love that person with your whole heart.
4. Read books; real books with words on paper and pages.
5. Everyone has the same insecurities you do. Some people just hide them better.
6. It takes incredible courage to earnestly approach someone you are attracted to.
7. It is not being lazy to unplug, sit in the dark and think.
8. Making someone swoon is overrated. Instead, make that person laugh, and think, and even cry. That is the path to the human heart.
9. Childhood classmates and acquaintances thought Elvis was weird.
10. He WAS weird; and he was creative, and different, and brave, and dynamic.
11. Elvis died on a toilet. And Hemingway shot himself. And Van Gogh cut off his ear AND shot himself, and so on and so forth; which only goes to say that sometimes creativity takes a toll, and these titans of their times probably did not feel like giants when they died.
12. Everyone has a story, many of them are sad.
13. Real men CAN cry. Just not all the time. And don’t use the phrase “real men”.
14. “Overnight success” usually involves a sex tape or a rich daddy. You will have neither.
15. Work hard, but only if you are passionate about the work. If not, find something else.
16. Math sucks.
17. You will face all kinds of bullies during your life. The only trick to dealing with them is whether you can live with yourself after those encounters.
18. Pride can get you killed.
19. Lack of pride can destroy your soul.
20. Play sports as long as you can; and know there is no such thing as really winning, there is only playing the game again and again.
21. Never say “It is going to be all right” to someone who is grieving. At that moment, it isn’t.
22. Your opinion belongs to you. No one else owns it. No one else can take it. Share it with abandon or caution, the choice is yours.
23. Changing your mind after careful inspection is the perfect indication of wisdom and intelligence.
24. A pet you don’t pay for will return huge dividends in gratitude.
25. Don’t be afraid to moisturize.
26. Your father is a wise man.
27. His father was a wiser man.
28. Observe how people treat strangers. It is the most accurate reflection of who they are.
29. Study religions different from your own.
30. At your funeral no one will say, “He had a really nice house.” Or, shame on you if they do.
31. Lip synching sucks worse than math. Sing out, damn it, no matter how bad it sounds.
32. Hold the door for everyone.
33. Find a “go-to” dish that you can cook really well. And learn about wine, even if you don’t drink it.
34. Don’t interrupt.
35. The people who surround you will shape who you are.
36. I found mine, but the “love of your life” will be an investment. No matter how wonderful it is, you will work on that relationship every single day you are together.
37. People talk too much. The people talking the most usually have the least to say. (The people who make lists are the worst.)
38. There’s nothing wrong with disco, if it makes you feel good.
39. Live in the moment.
40. The moment is often gone before you knew it was there.
41. Smile for no reason whatsoever.
42. When in doubt, love is the answer.