I can't comment on what we shouldn't be doing, but there are certain life lessons I want my child to know. Because for the next couple of years, I'm his window to the world. These are the things I want to teach Little Dude:
- Honesty is best: Lying is just so easy nowadays because we don't even have to say it, just type it somewhere and no one is going to question us. But I've learned that being honest always pays off in the long run, and leads to healthier relationships.
- Take only what you deserve: It's easy to take credit for someone else's work, but credit should only be taken when you deserve it. Or anything else for that matter. Don't take advantage of generosity. But graciously accept praise or reward when you've worked hard for it.
- Don't over-indulge, especially on credit: We have become such a materialistic society that labels have become everything. My parents taught me that you don't always have to 'have' everything. I think it's dangerous that we can so easily buy on impulse, because we have credit readily available to take. But it has to be paid back, and it's better to just stay within your means.
- Learn to give back, even if you don't receive: No person is completely a part of society until he/she gives back to it. Whenever opportunity arises, do something to help someone in need. More importantly, don't expect anything back because this world is full of selfish people. I think being selfish can only make us unhappy, while helping others leads to an inner peace.
- Stand by your beliefs: Once you know what you stand for, stand your ground. But remember to respect the beliefs of others too. Otherwise, you will end up being intolerant and arrogant.
- Don't clamor for popularity: I am realizing more with each passing day that what is popular is not always the best. I don't think one should blindly do or adopt something just because everyone is doing it. Pick only what you are comfortable adopting and be happy with your choice.
- You can't always win: There is so much emphasis on being the fastest that we forget that life is the race itself. We have the same destination and it really doesn't matter how soon we get there. We must teach our children that they will lose sometimes, and it's really okay.
- Violence is never the answer: Never, ever. It's a dilemma for parents to teach their children to respond to the overwhelming violence around us today. Worse still, how do they respond to violence aimed at them? This is a tough one, and something I'm still pondering, but I know that I will teach my child to avoid violence and find an alternative solution.