Ode to My Son, 12 Years Old

This was a bit of prose I wrote for my son. I wrote it in a little journal that I gave him for his 12th birthday.

My Son, my lineage.
On your journey to becoming a man.
I would like to share the following words with you.
To impart upon you some of my thoughts and feelings.
My hope is that you may carry these words with you.
That they may be of some use or comfort.
As you navigate along your journey to become your own man in this complicated world.\

I trust in you to always try.
To do what you believe to be right.
To have empathy and compassion.
To be decent and just.\

I trust you would come to me should questions arise.
To seek out my experiences, and learnings.
To understand my triumphs and defeats.
To learn from.
To grow from.
I know I won't always have the best answer.
I know you may not always like what I have to say.
But there is nothing you should ever fear to confide in me with.
No subject, taboo.
No words, off limits.
I will always do my best to help you along your way.\

It is said that no man is an island.
I believe that to be true.
Yet, even for me, it can be difficult to ask for help.
Independence is important.
But together, most often, more can be achieved.
For every man is built upon those who came before him.
His knowledge to be compounded to a sum greater than their parts.
Each experience shared, pieces from every man, are stories to gather from.
Tales of good and bad, all hold truths to be found.
Truths to uncover.
To stack upon each other.
To grow your collection of experiences whether you lived them, or not.
Words, thoughts, feelings.
That you can take and make a part of you.
To shape yourself how you want.
To become whatever man you want to be.
Which is not always easy to figure out.
Be mindful of the company you keep.
Surround yourself with people you admire.
With people who build you up, not bring you down.
But then, never underestimate the power of solitude.
Of nature.
Of contemplation.
Of meditation.
To clear your mind.
To re-ground yourself.
To recenter yourself.
Life is often, if not always, about balance.
The Yin and the Yang.
Seek out the things that bring you joy.
Allow yourself to feel sadness.
It is impossible to always feel elated.
And dangerous to always feel sorrow.
So most importantly, seek out the things that bring you inner peace.\

Life is not exactly easy.
But then, it is not exactly hard either.
It truly is all what you make of it.
Times will be hard.
Times will be easy.
Most often, it will seemingly be both.
How you choose to look at any given situation, is exactly that.
A choice.
You always have a choice in how you react, in how you perceive.
Perception is one of our greatest powers.
And being able to choose what color glasses you want to look at the world through, can make all the difference.\

Passion and Purpose.
Passion often comes on like a fire.
Passion often extinguishes just like a fire.
It can be wonderful when it strikes like a lightning bolt.
But it is often just as fleeting.
As you contemplate the future, contemplate your purpose.
In order to build a life out of a passion, you must find the purpose beneath it as well.
You must develop a purpose and a plan that can carry you forward.
Through all of the times when your passion cannot be found.
For your passion will come and go.
But your purpose will always stay true.\

You are amazing.
You are unique.
Your life is your story, nobody else's.
You write your story however you want.
Strive to write yourself the best version of you that you can think of.
What kind of person is the star character in your story going to be?
Think of all the things that would make him the best version of that character.
Then go out, and live those things.
And you will become that best version of you.\

Do not fret if things are not perfect.
They rarely, if ever, are.
Learn to appreciate imperfections.
For each and every one of us has them.
And those imperfections are yet another element that shapes us.
No one is exempt.
Learn that most anything can be overcome.
Or redone.
Rarely do we get things right on the first try.
Practice really does make perfect, as they say.
Or maybe better said, nearer perfect.
Again, perception is everything.
Make the world perfect in your perception of it.
Filled with wonderful little imperfections.

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