Writing Challenge: April 21, 2018
Prompt: Write a letter full of advice to someone younger.
Dear youth of the today,
Life is weird, complicated, difficult, and crazy, but it’s also full of wonder, possibility, and choices. I won’t lie to you, it isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it. To navigate the insanity that will inevitably occur around you, I want to give you some advice.
Tip One: Find supportive people. Whether they are your family, friends, councilors- whatever, find people who will help you learn, grow, and be happy. Whether you want to reach for the stars or stay firm on the solid ground is a personal choice but finding people who will love you and be there for you is something that we all need at some point. If you are lucky enough to have those people in your life, be sure to tell them how much you love and appreciate them whenever you can. If you are that person in someone else’s life, be glad that you have someone who loves and trusts you so much. It’s not easy to be supported by others or to support others, but it is worth it.
Tip Two: Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Both are hard to do. We often feel that if we aren’t “the best” at something than it’s not a strength, and we hate to admit our own failures, but we need to acknowledge both in order to progress. Knowing what makes you unique and valuable will both build confidence in yourself, and raise your worth to others, and knowing where you struggle can help you to improve in those areas. It’s okay to brag about yourself on occasion, as long as you are using those strengths to build-up the world around you, and it’s okay to ask for help. The world is made up off billions of people with their own unique talents and gifts. Knowing what yours are make’s you helps you both as a person, but also as a community builder.
Tip Three: Acknowledge your mistakes and forgive yourself for them. Once again, this is hard. We all screw-up. Sometimes the mistakes are small and pass without much consequence, and other times they are huge. It’s easier to blame other’s or circumstances or the world- but nothing can be gained from that. Don’t blame yourself for every small thing, that will only lead to sadness and despair. Don’t accept blame for things you couldn’t have prevented, or take responsibility for other people’s choices, but do take responsibility for your own actions and choices. Admitting you messed up sucks- I know- but knowing what you did wrong will help you learn from your mistake and prevent you from repeating it. Remember Tip One, and have your support person/group/family etc. nearby to help you through this process. Remember to forgive yourself for your flaws. We are human. We are imperfect. I firmly believe that anyone who is sincere enough in their will to change for the better can do it, but they have to be willing for acknowledge, accept, learn from, and forgive their past.
Tip Four: Keep an open mind, you are never done learning. No matter how old you are, how much life experience you have, or how much education you have complete- you aren’t done learning. Observe the world around you, listen to other people and their view points, keep seeking knowledge, and continue to question, research, and analyze everything. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills you can have- nurture it. Take advice from other’s who know more, but always take that advice with a grain of salt. Always strive to see all sides of a situation before taking a stance, and be willing to accept when you are wrong. There is nothing to be gained from willful ignorance, and everything to lose from hateful intolerance. Be a sponge, absorb everything. You don’t have to agree with it, you don’t have to fight, you don’t even have to be social, just don’t be ignorant.
Tip Five: Be proud to be yourself. You may be social or shy. You may love music or running. You may be great at building or painting- it doesn’t matter. You are you! Spend time to discover yourself- you are the only person that will always be part of your life. Build up your talents, enjoy your interests, reveal in what makes you happy. Improve your flaws, embrace what makes you different, and find out what makes you tick. It’s true that human is human no matter what race, religion, gender, or abilities we possess- but one thing we also have in common is, ironically, that we are all unique. Be proud of who you are, where you came from, where you are going, and what you can do. Be the person you want to be- that’s what really matters.