You’re only three years old, and at this point in your life you can’t read, much less understand what I’m going to try to tell you in this letter. But I’ve been thinking a lot about the life that you have ahead of you, about my life so far as I reflect on what I’ve learned, and about my role as a dad in trying to prepare you for the trials that you will face in the coming years.
There will be people in your life who won’t be very nice. They’ll tease you because you’re different, or for no good reason. They might try to bully you or hurt you.
There’s not much you can do about these people except to learn to deal with them, and learn to choose friends who are kind to you, who actually care about you, who make you feel good about yourself. When you find friends like this, hold on to them, treasure them, spend time with them, be kind to them, love them.
There will be times when you are met with disappointment instead of success. Life won’t always turn out the way you want. This is just another thing you’ll have to learn to deal with. But instead of letting these things get you down, push on. Accept disappointment and learn to persevere, to pursue your dreams despite pitfalls. Learn to turn negatives into positives, and you’ll do much better in life.
You will also face heartbreak and abandonment by those you love. I hope you don’t have to face this too much, but it happens. Again, not much you can do but to heal, and to move on with your life. Let these pains become stepping stones to better things in life, and learn to use them to make you stronger.
A Letter to My Son, on Starting Out In Life (Leo Babauta, zenhabits)