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.