A Letter to Our Children
In 2012 the National Association of Mothers’ Centers asked me to write a letter to my children in recognition of Mother’s Day, as a way to impart to the world what wisdom I would like to pass on to them.
That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, by far, especially since I was limited to 650 words.
I consider this letter to my children a letter to all children everywhere.
My hope is that it can inspire parents to write a similar letter to their children – and pass on the wisdom they embody so we can realize a more peaceful and compassionate world.
Letter to My Children
Dear Michael, William, and James,
If I pass any wisdom to you at all, I want it to be love.
I love you greatly and pray, that in being loved immeasurably, you will love greatly too. Love will help you endure all kinds of loss. But know the spirit can never be lost. Faith in this hope will never betray you.
Death should be no more traumatic than taking off an old coat.
~ Bhagavad Gita
Owning a steady inner peace is not easy, but is worth tirelessly pursuing.
Its pursuit is symbiotic with pursuit of the Greater Good, something bigger than your own desires. However, never mistake age for wisdom. I have in others, and ended up being belittled and my spirit left broken and diminished. A true mentor, no matter what their age, will make you feel that you can become great too.
Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.
~ Mark Twain
Realizing your dreams depends on a feeling of satisfaction that inner peace brings when you realize you are doing what you are destined for.
Many wise people have spoken of this idea, but before it can be realized, a few things must happen.
First, fight against inequities that oppress others, especially mothers, since they nurture the future of our world. If you do not have a passion to fight for their rights, then you do not value your own.
Second, celebrate the beauty in diversity. We are all created equal. Respect the differences in each other that give us the passion and creativity to give birth to new life, on all levels.
Love each other deeply… offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
~ St. Peter
Third, protect Mother Earth. Native American blood runs in your veins, and the neighboring Iroquois Nation law says, “whatever we do in our deliberations we must consider the effect it will have on the next seven generations.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the tenets of an incorruptible moral foundation.
If you evaluate your actions based on these qualities, you will never lose your way. Doing this will lead you down the road less traveled. Do not fear this path.
Speaking out for and doing what is right on this earth is never easy, and oftentimes, not popular.
Pursue your passion with integrity, and remember no success can compensate for failure in the home.
Treat all God’s creatures, friend and foe, as fragile and delicate, because that is what we are.
Physically, take care of body, mind, and spirit. Their strength is intertwined. Emotionally, cast aside the folly of peer pressure.
Wisdom sometimes means knowing what to ignore.
~ William James
Intellectually, embody the humility of a perpetual student, found in all great leaders because they are always open to the better way. Relationally, you do not always have to “fix” problems. Speak less. Listen more.
He who hears not the music thinks the dancer mad.
~ African proverb
Energetically, you are responsible for the energy you bring into a room. Choose to bring the spirit of nonviolence into your surroundings, wherever you are. Spiritually, you will meet persons of diverse backgrounds on your journey. Do not judge them. Love them.
Meditate to find common ground with others. Never stop searching for Truth.
Share in friends’ struggles (not just their triumphs). What we share can be a powerful, uniting force to create peace on this earth. A mind at peace, a mind focused on not harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.
And one more word of wisdom, since writing this original letter to my children in 2012
Recognize the medicinal value of making some noise – of having fun – of laughter and time spent together just being silly. Climb a tree, take a roadtrip, have a spontaneous dance party, eat outdoors whenever you can, sleep under the stars, whatever you can do to create wonder and awe in your life – it’ll always make you a better, more well rounded person. Less focused on yourself, and more focused on the wider perspective (yes, research supports this!).
Create memories that will last a lifetime and make you smile again and again when you reflect on them. Because at the end of the day, and of our life, that’s all we have – our lived experiences together. Let’s make the best of our all too brief time on earth together.
All my love, unconditionally and infinitely,