While it’s been some time since I was considered youth. I still have some memories, and some understanding to give. But above all I have a unique experience to tap from. When I speak to kids, teens, or otherwise; I speak as I would anyone else. So to you youth who may read these words I give you the following message.
Life is about your choices. I hope you make them well. But even if you make mistakes, or fuck up royally, just remember a few things. You will survive anything until one day you won’t. All your choices have consequences, seen or unseen. What you do matters more than what you say. What you do also affects others, observe what you’re doing to someone else.
Don’t take anything for granted, because when you do, it will already be gone. If you are given an opportunity, don’t squander it, you never know if or when the next one may come. I believe that sometimes you got to grit your teeth, bear through it and push yourself beyond what you thought you could. When you break through the other side you will have grown and changed in more measurable ways than if you did nothing at all.
Experience life. While many choices may obviously be bad, or lead you into Hell, sometimes the only way we know is to experience it. Find the moments to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the unknown, because it may hold more for you than you thought. Remember the bad experiences and know that they shaped you too. It isn’t just the good, but the bad that makes us the people we become.
If you are going to hurt someone, weigh your decision to do so. Violence should be a last resort. However, know when to stand up and fight back, instead of justify victimization. Fights can be fought on many fronts, but the one in your mind will be the greatest war, and should be. Your mind is valuable, don’t waste it. Imagination is valuable, don’t lose it.
What is true for one may not be true for another. Seek the truth in all things and don’t be afraid of what you might find. The truth can hurt more than any lie, so be careful how you decide to use it. If you have a chance to do something meaningful, do it, in some way it immortalizes you. Even if it is something small for a single individual. You will always impact someone, just be aware of what kind of impacts you leave.
What you think about yourself is not what everyone else will think of you. Just because you may see yourself in a certain way doesn’t mean others will see you the same. Just as how others see you may not be how you see yourself. Don’t be afraid or ashamed of criticism, but know when it’s destructive. If you can’t be proud of yourself, change your behaviors to try to be, at least in effort you have a reason to take pride.
Arrogance is an enemy, to think too much of yourself is a flaw. It will cause you to be selfish, and think only of you. The world isn’t about you, its not about everyone else, it’s about us all. Just as it is not just about what you know, but who you know too. Never be afraid to learn more about someone, it is advantageous to everyone. Never judge someone for their choices, you didn’t make the best ones either.
Life isn’t simple, responsibility isn’t easy either. Bear though them both, and know that its only the shining moments between that make the value of it all. Happiness is not a destination, but moments of the journey. Stress kills, people die, and one day you will too. Don’t fear the reaper, but don’t go seeking it either, it will find you eventually. When dealing with death, remember it is inevitable. The funeral is for you, to let go, to give respect, to remember, when it is done, so should you be.
Life doesn’t stop for the hurting, it won’t spare the punches for those down on their luck. It won’t give mercy to the weak. It is going to be challenging, and that is what you must decide to overcome. Regardless of what anyone says, it is your life. Choose your life, but remember, always remember, your choices have consequences, seen or unseen.