NOTE TO A SON

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1. Make sure you brush your hair.
2. Smile at old people, it may be the only smile they get all day.
3. Learn everything you can, then forget it and follow your instincts.
4. Play Bob Dylan really loud.
5. Respect the past, but don’t live there.
6. Never take no for an answer, even the experts can be wrong.
7. Be kind to children, the one thing everybody deserves is a nice childhood.
8. Watch movies that make you feel something.
9. Believe it or not, your parents were once your age and went through all the same stuff. Sometimes you just need to remind them of that.
10. Make sure you acknowledge the homeless people on the street. There but for the grace of God go us all. And you may be the only person who looks into their eyes all day.
11. The world is a scary place. The world is a friendly place. It awaits your choice.
12. A lot can be achieved with a smile. It’s more powerful than a gun as long as it’s sincere.
13. At least once a day stop and give thanks for what you have.
14. If you succumb to self-pity, count your friends and you’ll realise how fortunate you are.
15. Be bold and mighty forces join you. Nobody ever achieved anything without risk.
16. Make time to occasionally watch the dawn of a new day. It’s in that silence that we can hear God’s breath.
17. Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.
18. Hug those you love. It would be a shame if they never realised how much you appreciated them.
19. Make sure you fall in love with a person and not a concept.
20. Don’t try and change those you love. Love them for who they are. And ask the same in return.
21. It’s true that you have to pass through hell to fully appreciate heaven.
22. Treat every day as a gift. That’s why they call it the present.
23. Remember your wise words to your dad once when he was passing though hell, “Don’t worry dad, it’ll be alright when you grow up to be a child”. I’ve never forgotten that advice. Don’t you ever forget it either.
24. How good a friend you are defines who you are.
25. It’s only money. Don’t worship false Gods.
26. Love your mother.
27. Try to get a good night’s sleep when you can. You’ll need it.
28. Whatever happens happens for a reason. Try and learn a lesson from it so you don’t have to go through it again.
29. Treat everyone as family until they prove different.
30. Don’t trust anything that comes too easy.
31. Create, don’t destroy.
32. Don’t be cruel.
33. Don’t be mean-spirited.
34. Don’t be envious.
35. Love this moment. It will not come again.
36. Don’t be afraid to occasionally be silly. It’s good for you.
37. Learn to laugh at yourself. It saves others doing it.
38. Be humble but never forget who you are. Everyone deserves to be respected. Remind the less courteous if they forget that.
39. Don’t allow people filled with darkness into your life. Some will delight in bringing you down.
40. Always tell the truth. A lie is a timebomb that will eventually explode in your face.
41. Be respectful to women. They have it tough enough.
42. At the heart of everything is the truth. And people will always respond to it.
43. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Or directions.
44. Don’t become a slave to anything.
45. Don’t surrender your pride, you may never get it back.
46. Stand up for what is right. Even if it’s an unpopular thing to do.
47. Don’t let someone else’s trip become yours.
48. Appreciate every act of kindness done for you. And try and pay it forward.
49. Walk in the park occasionally and observe everything.
50. Angels sometimes bring us messages – make sure you don’t dismiss them.
51. Love sees no colour. Love knows no age. You fall in love with someone for who they are, not the colour of their skin or the number of their years.
52. Never make a promise you can’t keep. Your word is your bond and a handshake should be the tightest contract in the world.
53. A lot of people will be your friend as long as you’re doing what they want. If, the moment it becomes about you, you lose them – they were never your friends to begin with.
54. Never ever forget, for one second, how much you’re loved. You were made from love, you are love, now share that love.
(c) Frank Howson 2014

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