Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Dear Me: A letter to my 16 year old self...

Dear Me: A letter to my 16 year old self...

Hi Kevin

It's me, well you, in a way us, from 45 years later writing to you in order to give you snippets of wisdom from my life experience that may help you to get the best from what lies ahead in your life.

Maternal Grandparents Wedding Anniversary 1960s
Well here goes... I won't spoil any of the surprises that lie ahead in your life. That would be strange. Generally things are good but there is always room for improvement. There will always be events in life you can never be prepared for or anticipate. So try to be prepared.

'Pull your socks up Kevin' as one of your teachers you'll remember said to us in Junior School. It's good advice, to 'make an effort to improve one's work, performance or behaviour'. Carry that advice with you always.

Kevin I've always thought of you as an honest and caring person. I haven't changed my opinion now either. Like other people we're not perfect. Sometimes you do lack motivation and self-believe. At times you do procrastinate. Ephesians 5:16 says 'Make the most of every opportunity'. Or 'Do it now' would be a good inspirational motto. Why not copyright it & offer to sell it to a global company, like Nike, then open a trust fund and give half the money to charity.

Procrastination comes with our character Kevin. There's nothing wrong with caution or weighing up the pros and cons in situations. You could find out about the Myers Briggs Personality Indicator. You'll find it will aid self-understanding and enable you to modify some of your negative characteristics.
Believe in yourself.

You don't enjoy reading, but I encourage you to read books which provide you with moral guidance, the bible particularly, and to learn from other people's life experiences. This is often achieved by listening more than speaking, in the same ratio as your ears to your mouth - 2:1. Try to differentiate between wise and foolish people, even though this can be difficult. Heed the wise and avoid mixing with fools.

At 16 you've already experienced some bad stuff during your childhood, but... my advice is 'be forgiving'. It's best not to carry that weight around with you through your lifetime. People will hurt you and likewise you them. Avoid it if you can. But if you can't then use forgiveness. Bitterness will eat away at you.

Empathy is one of your strengths Kevin. It's often helpful to look at issues through other peoples' eyes, or walk in their shoes. But trust in your gut feelings and treat others fairly. You will meet many types of people during your lifetime. You are white, male and hetro-sexual and physically able. Others wont be the same, so I advise you to accept these differences. Treat everyone as an individual. Remember they and 'You are a unique individual there has never been another person like you in all the 60 billion people who have walked on this earth'. Fact. Accept and enjoy your gifts and your life's loves.

There will always be family and many friends in your life. Hold them close, love and respect them all. As you enter adulthood Kevin remember there will be those who come and go in your life. Some losses with be painful. Comfort those who mourn. Some years ago I remember reading this, 'We all have an illness called life. One day it will be the death of us'.

A final piece of advice. Love and be loved. Trust and be trusted. Respect and be respected. Forgive and be forgiven. Have a blessed life.

Kevin Lindsay-Smith
Aged 61
April 2016

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