Life can be a confusing thing, full of paradoxical truths that can startle you out of your complacency.
Just as you think you’ve found yourself and become comfortable with the way you approach people and circumstances, Life rises up and throws you a curve ball. You swing wildly, hoping that by some stroke of luck, you’d manage to connect the bat to that projectile headed your way.
Sometimes it’s a hit. Most times, it’s a miss.
As we have grown through our experiences, which shape our emotions and our reactions, we try and impart a fraction of those to the innocent minds under our care.
Truth #1: The world is both wonderful . . .
. . .and terrible
As you grow older, you’ll find many incredible and beautiful things in this world. They’ll range from the fascinating monuments, buildings and structures built by man to the fabulous reserves of strength, endurance and compassion that you see in people. You’ll find butterflies in the wind, a symphony that you’ll cherish, a person to fall in love with, a walk in the pouring rain and friends you can count on.
But, you’ll also come across bitter squabbles, news of war, terrorism and rape. You’ll realise the truly dark side of humanity on some occasions. Each time, remember all the good things I spoke about earlier. That will help you reconcile both in your heart. And never give up on the world. It’s more resilient than you think.
Truth #2: Be sensitive . . .
. . . except when it threatens to harm you
I was always called a sensitive child and I see the strain of that in you as well. Being sensitive is great because it helps you feel compassion for people, animals and all living things. Sensitivity is a powerful gift and you can learn to be kind, loving and generous.
But being too sensitive to barbs, insults and misdirected anger will harm you. Learn to walk away when things get too painful or argumentative. This isn’t quitting. It’s knowing which battles to fight.
Truth #3: Befriend everyone . . .
. . .but stay wary of their inner devil
Always be open and accepting of people, just as they are. Friends are wonderful support systems when life gets overwhelming. Befriend people for their goodness.
Also be aware that friends can sometimes be hurtful. If they do it repeatedly, take a long, hard look at the relationship and gently sever the ties. Everyone has an inner devil. Some of us hide it better than others.
Truth #4: Be selfless at all times . . .
. . . except when you need to be selfish
Learn to give everything to those who need it: food, clothes, books, hugs, a willing ear and a strong shoulder. You’ll never lose anything when you do any of this.
Sometimes, though, it is important to look after yourself. Know when to draw the line between selflessness and over-exhaustion. Do things for yourself and believe me, this is a good kind of selfishness. It helps you feel selfless once again.
Truth #5: Look up to those who inspire you . . .
. . . but carve your own path
Be open to ideas, discussions and debates. Find role models in the ordinary people around you. Watch as a gardener tirelessly tends to the garden or the teacher who shows up every single day to impart knowledge. Learn from these people the value of hard work.
But, don’t copy or imitate them. Be your own kind of awesome. Chart your own course, try things on your own and make your own history.
In a nutshell,