Someone recently pointed out to me that in addition to writing this blog for literally tens of loyal readers, I’m writing it for Older John, who may take the time to read it sometime in the hazy future. Depending on his age and general level of cooperativeness, he may be mad at how much of his business is on here. Or perhaps by then the Internet will have turned the whole world into the Truman Show, so it might not be a huge concern.
Either way, John, if you’re reading this…
In ten years. You’re 17. Please go to college, but if you want to wait a year, that’s completely fine. Know that you’ll learn as much from the world as from your classes (although you still have to go to them). Work hard, but leave time for life as well. Look people in the eye when you speak to them. Firm handshakes.
In twenty years. You’re 27. Do the right thing at work. Even if others are cutting corners or skating by, you do your best. It will pay off. Date the smart girls instead of the beautiful ones. When you’re ready, marry one who loves her family. And yours.
In thirty years. You’re 37. If you have kids, play with them, read to them, listen to them. They are your priority, so make it work. Don’t make one big memory, make little ones every day. Save money. Say thank you to your wife. Travel if you can.
In forty years. You’re 47. I have no advice. I’m not there yet myself. But for now and for then and for everything in between, it seems safe to say: Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be thankful. And call your mother, who really loves you.