An Open Letter to My Grandchildren: 10 Things I Want Them to Know
Our five-year-old grandson recently asked my husband and me “Will we always be together?”
I was stunned that such a small child would ask such a profound question. I’m not sure that he understood the depth of the question, until I realized that it was one of those stream of consciousness thoughts sandwiched in between, “How much longer before the movie starts” and “Does anyone have a snack because I’m hungry.”
But it did get me thinking. We will not always be together. Our grandkids are young and they have their whole lives ahead of them. I, on the other hand, have more days behind me than in front of me.
What words of wisdom can I give this younger generation, my grandchildren? What life lessons can I tell them that will make their lives happier, more meaningful and more purposeful?
I would like to share with you my thoughts.
Live Life on Your Own Terms
Each of us has special gifts and talents, so embrace everything that is unique about you. As you grow up, you will come to know these talents and you will develop passions – a life purpose and goals that you want to accomplish. If you want to be a painter, then paint. If you want to be a teacher, then teach. If you want to be an entrepreneur, that do that. Decide what is important to you and do it.
Whatever You Do – Throw Your Heart Into It
Whatever you decide to do, it is important that you put your whole self into it. Don’t hold back on love, relationships, work and involvement in your community or avocations. Give it your all. Take the brakes off and embrace your life and all that you do. You will find that it makes life so much more fun and you will get so much more out of it.
No Matter What Happens to You – Take Responsibility for It
Even if it wasn’t your fault. Especially if it wasn’t your fault, take responsibility for fixing it. Life has a way of bringing all of us a great deal of happiness, but it also has a way of hurting us.
No matter what has happened, it is up to you to resolve it. It is up to you to envision what should occur next and to put a plan in place to make it happen.
If you take responsibility and control you will imagine new possibilities and design something that you do want for yourself. You will take yourself out of the past and move yourself to a better place. This will make a profound difference in your life. You will be happier with your opportunities, your support systems and your environment.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Always be open to learning new things. Be curious about the people, the experiences, the events and discoveries taking place in the present as well as those things that we can learn from the past. Decide to continually understand the world around you and expand your thinking and ways of doing things.
Take classes, attend lectures, read books, hang out with others who are interested in what you are. Be engaged. You will find that your life is more interesting, you will have greater opportunities and …. you will never ever be bored.
There are Beautiful People Everywhere
I have moved many times in my life to different places. There was always a sense of sadness when I left the familiar and replaced it with the unfamiliar. It was hard saying goodbye to friends, acquaintances and support systems. It was challenging to start fresh and to meet new people.
I have learned that there are amazing people everywhere you go. People who will inspire you and with whom you will develop a close friendship. You will find people who you will love and who will love you. There are wonderful people no matter where you go. And when you develop a friendship with them, it will feel like you have always known them.
There will be some people who will take some time to get to know, and others that you will be good friends with right from the start.
Always be open to what can happen and you will find them.
Feelings Are Mutual
Someone starts to like you at the same exact moment in time that you start liking them.
A relationship is emotional and the feeling starts with you. It is uncanny. Something happens when you like someone. You lean into them, and you listen to them and care about them. You give the relationship energy and spirit.
I find that the moment when I warm to someone, the feeling is returned. The relationship may develop into a strong friendship or remain an acquaintance, but the feelings of mutual affection and respect will be there.
By the way, the opposite is true. Someone starts to dislike you the moment you start to lose patience with them or to lose interest in them. The whole vibration of the relationship changes and things get strained.
So, don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. If you like someone, be engaged, show that you are interested and stay open to wherever the relationship brings you.
Expect the Best
Say yes to life and be open to new experiences. You may not always get what you want, but you will generally get what you expect.
Have a great sense of humor. Laughing has a healing effect on you both mentally and physically. We create so many of our problems by taking it all too seriously. Move through this life lightly, take care of yourself, create the life that you treasure – and laugh.
Don’t Forget Your Connection to All of Nature
There is a force, an energy that we all share, and it is the power that connects us all to each other. It is the source that we all came from and it is the energy that we will all return to. Don’t ever forget that you are part of something spiritual and eternal.
Make the World a Better Place
There is so much prejudice, criticism and judgment in this world. Never do anything to add to this negativity. Use your natural gifts and talents to make the world a better place.
It is really a beautiful life – live it!
As Neil Postman wrote, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we do not see.”
What are the messages you would want to remind your grandchildren of? What lessons would you want to share with them? What words of wisdom would you like to share with the future generations? Please join the conversation.
Terry Arzt is a life and transition coach. She is the author of the eBook, A Definitive Guide for Starting Over, which is available as a free download on her website. She works with women who want to, need to or have been forced to go through a life transition. Terry gives the support, confidence and inspiration they need to move forward and to create a life they want or desire.