Letter to a younger generation

Dear person who is younger than me,

I hope that this doesn’t fall on deaf ears, but knowing what I was like as a younger person, I’m afraid that this letter will be in vain.  Therefore, I implore beg you to put aside for just a few moments your omnipotent wisdom and invincibility to humor an older guy.  It goes without saying that this is important, if only to avoid the mistakes I have made.

Please, PLEASE, make your education count.  Learn all that you can learn from everyone you come in contact with and when you’re alone, learn more.  If you find your teachers lacking, seek out the information on your own.  If your teachers are adequate, don’t waste their time with you.  Soak up every single minute of their time to the exclusion of all else.  Earn every second of the education you’re given and don’t slack off.  Why?!  Because life is hard.  From the moment you leave school you will be engaged in a battle with the forces of the world that will not easily afford you the educational experience.  Life will get in the way of education and if you’re forced to seek out that education once you’ve ended the “normal” educational cycle, it will be even more difficult.

Earlier this evening, I spent a frustrating hour staring at a computer without the faintest clue of what I was attempting to do.  What I should have learned earlier in my educational career I apparently did not, or have at least forgotten, and now I was desperately trying to recreate a knowledge base that should really never have left me.  As if that were not disheartening enough, I arrived home in time to pull my sleeping daughter into my arms to hold her for a few precious minutes of the day.  She didn’t know I was there and that’s all the more frustrating because that’s a day in her life that I don’t get back.

I made mistakes in school.  Somewhere around the seventh grade, I stopped trying.  I stopped caring about my education and that is a shame.  In high school the trend continued and I floated by in certain areas, but there were times when I certainly could’ve and should’ve done better.  College might have been the most colossal failure on my part and it took me years to realize it.  Now, as I approach 37 years old, I look back and wonder how much easier my life might’ve been had I only taken an interest in my own well-being.  What’s worse is I can blame no one but myself because all of the guiding forces in my life, particularly my parents and my godmother, were anxious for me to fulfill my true potential and I failed them as well.  Now, I suffer in part because I’m having to make up lost time, and my family suffers because the aggregate degradation of my educational ability has held me back career-wise.

So, again, I beg you, do not make the mistakes I made.  Be a superstar student.  Let people call you a nerd or a geek.  Spend your free minutes in a real book instead of Facebook.  Ask questions and when you don’t get the answer you seek, go and find them for yourself.  Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from becoming the best individual you can be.  Achieve greatness and be a beacon for the generations after you.

See you in the funny papers!

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