20 Things I Hope To Teach My Sons

1. Love and pro­tect your broth­er. Always.

2. Under­stand that how­ev­er you feel right now, your feel­ings are like­ly to change.

3. To the best of your abil­i­ty, hon­or your word.

4. Nev­er hold on to griev­ances. Take noth­ing per­son­al­ly. Life is but a dream. We’re not real­ly here, we’re just fig­ments of Gods imagination.

5. In what­ev­er you do, strive to do it so well that no man liv­ing, and no man dead, and no man yet to be born could do it better.

6. Read. Read often.  All of what you need to know in this life has been writ­ten down at some point in time. Read­ing breeds wisdom.

7. Be edu­cat­ed. You are a black male in Amer­i­ca. No mat­ter how “pro­gres­sive” the world becomes, be edu­cat­ed. It is the antithe­sis to racism. It is the antithe­sis to clas­sism. So be edu­cat­ed. But don’t ever become so “edu­cat­ed” that you lose the abil­i­ty to learn.

8. Be kind to girls. She is some­one’s daugh­ter. She will one day be some­one’s moth­er. When that day comes, be some­one she can remem­ber with fond­ness, not with disdain.

9. Always be the one to pay on a first date. For every­thing. If you can’t afford it, don’t ask her out until you can.

10.The world says get rich, then get mar­ried. I say find your queen, and your king­dom won’t be far behind. She will help you real­ize your vision in more ways than you could ever help yourself.

11.When you do get mar­ried, make your wife your first pri­or­i­ty. Make every effort to under­stand her. Love her. Cher­ish her. Lis­ten to her. Stim­u­late her.

12. Be good to the moth­er of your chil­dren.  Regard­less of your mar­riage sta­tus, she is the gate­way to my grandchildren.

13. Don’t chase mon­ey. Chase your pas­sions with every­thing in you. I promise the mon­ey will come.

14.When you do get rich, don’t focus on what you can buy. Focus on what you can be.

15. See the world. It will help you see the world you live in differently.

16. Cre­ate the life you wish to have. Immerse your­self in it. Active­ly seek it and it will find you.

17. Remem­ber that noth­ing you have is a result of your own doing. You are not enti­tled to any­thing. There­fore be thank­ful and count your bless­ings. If you do this, the mate­r­i­al plea­sures of this world will not over­take you and you will nev­er be in want.

18. Don’t for­get to pray.

19. Hap­pi­ly ever after does­n’t exist on this side of life. There will always be ups and downs. Tri­umphs and pit­falls, in your rela­tion­ships, your career, your life tra­jec­to­ry. Until you come to terms with this fact, you will be frus­trat­ed look­ing for some­thing you will nev­er find. Lean into the jour­ney, don’t fight it.

20. For­give me for the times I’ve made mis­takes, the times I’ve failed you, the times I’ve hurt you, the times I did not fol­low my own advice.   I’m sor­ry. I’m emo­tion­al, frag­ile, and often won­der why I was trust­ed with the immense task of rais­ing you. Know that I did my best.