Most of you are too young to have watched ER, or know Dr. Mark Greene. The "On The Beach" episode in 2002 was amazing and has stuck with me (if you Google it prepare to 😢). Anyways with 4 small kids, I have to prepare things (Will, insurance, etc) should I not be around forever. A morbid thought for sure. These are things I want them to know.
  1. Your mother is a saint
    She went through more than you can ever fathom to bring you here; please do everything you can every day to be worthy of that. When all else fails, default to this.
  2. Care more about making your parent(s) proud than avoiding doing something "wrong"
    We've done our best to instill a good moral compass; if you have a decision/choice to make consider this item.
  3. Your mother and I love you, no matter what
  4. Be generous
    With everything you have to generous with.
  5. Be kind
    Kindness costs you nothing and is worth more than anything.
  6. Be honest
  7. Be present
    Its tough to do, but when you're with someone BE THERE.
  8. Be trustworthy
  9. Be understanding
  10. Be sure to call/text/see your mother (see #1)
  11. Be empathetic
    Thinking about how your words and actions effect others is a skill that must be constantly worked.
  12. The Internet is forever
    Anything you post, or email, or click on is out there somewhere. Imagine everyone you know will see that text, that email, that post. Think about #1 and #2 on this list before moving forward with it.
  13. Remove "fair" from your vocabulary
    It doesn't exist, as I'm sure you've learned, in our house. It doesn't exist in life either. No matter what anyone tells you, chasing fair is a fools errand so don't.
  14. Tip well
    Whenever you can.
  15. Driving is a luxury, not a right
    It can be taken from you at any time by us or the law.
  16. Learn to drive a stick shift
    The only way you'll be one with a car.
  17. You will fall in love - and be heartbroken
    This is part of life. Neither of those feelings will ever fully go away, but they will dull over time.
  18. Death is part of life
    It's hard to reconcile but don't be fearful of it. Be prepared so that when it does happen to a someone/something you love, you don't have regrets.
  19. Read books
    Physical books, from our collection.
  20. Don't peak in High School
    It's such a short time of your life - enjoy it but have an eye on the greatness that can be adulthood.
  21. No job is beneath you
    Everyone starts somewhere, you are owed nothing. Do your absolute best and things will work out for you in the long term (see #2).
  22. Don't judge a book by its cover
    This also means people.
  23. Try new foods from time to time
    Your palate evolves as you age.
  24. Take your glasses off for pictures (if you wear them)
    They will date you way more than your clothes some day 😄
  25. Be slow to anger
    Dissolve as many potential conflicts as you can with words.
  26. Jab to the nose
    If #25 fails, short punches to the nose will trump big roundhouse punches.
  27. No matter what, stick by your brothers
    You may get upset with each other, and that's OK - you've been blessed with a special bond and nobody can break it.
  28. Bros before women
    See #27
  29. Don't get bitter, get better
    Embrace constructive criticism and look to learn/improve from it.
  30. Marry your best friend
    Looks and physical attraction fade.
  31. Travel
    Whenever you can - St. Augustine once said "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
  32. Marry only if you intend it forever
    See #30
  33. Who you are is not what you have
    See #2 and #4.
  34. Fun is terribly underrated
    And doesn't cost anything - seek it out while remembering #1 and #2.
  35. Never dive or slide in to first base
    That's just stupid.
  36. Laugh often
  37. Age is a number
    How long we've been around doesn't define who we are - don't let it restrict you.
  38. Women notice your shoes and your confidence
  39. Strive to be your best at everything you do
  40. Enjoy warm summer rain
  41. Snow angels are for everyone
  42. Your life is yours
    Write the story of your life the way you want it to read.
  43. We were cool once
    It will escape you too ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
  44. I took that sunrise picture in the entry
    No matter what your mother tries to tell you.
  45. Shake hands firmly, and look that person in the eye
  46. Show others respect
    Until they've proven themselves unworthy of it.
  47. Real men cry
    When warranted.
  48. Failure is part of success
    Every time you try and fail at something, you're that much closer to success. Don't be afraid to fail.
  49. Laugh at yourself
  50. Be humble
    Be confident in yourself - let others see how awesome you are before you have to tell them. If they can't see it on their own maybe they're not worth being around.
  51. Never be ashamed to ask for help
  52. Not everyone has to go to college
    There are plenty of ways to be successful without it.
  53. If you go to college, learn
    Beyond coursework - about people, about culture, about yourself. College is an experience.
  54. Open doors for people
    See #5
  55. Forgive
    Grudges are stupid and weigh you down.
  56. You aren't always right
    Be aware of that, but also be gracious when you are right.
  57. Learn how to lose properly
    You will not always win, and there is more to be learned from losing.
  58. Be gracious in victory
    See #11
  59. Time heals
    Physically and emotionally.
  60. Change is good
    Don't resist it unless you feel strongly.
  61. Go with your gut
    When all else fails.
  62. Don't worry about things you can't control
  63. Always have one dark suit that fits you
  64. Love without restraint
    If you deem someone worthy of your love, do not hold back.
  65. There's humor to be found in everything
    Look for it. It's there.
  66. Nothing is more important than family
  67. Dreams are important
    Always have a few - they make life tolerable.
  68. Pay off your credit cards every month
    Just trust me.
  69. Life is now
    Or "life's what happens when you're busy making other plans."
  70. You are in charge of your happiness
    Nobody else.
  71. When you screw up, step up.
    Take responsibility, be a man. Own up to it and correct it/ make it right if possible.
  72. Measure twice, cut once
  73. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey
  74. Spell-check and grammar are important
    Your words represent you when you're not around.
  75. Learn our countries history
    It's what makes us who we are as a great nation.
  76. Think before you speak
  77. Today is special
    Treat it that way.