Listen, kid…

Growing up in a different society, I feel obliged to share things with the children of this world. Things I would say to them. Things I would’ve said to myself. I see a lack of respect toward parents, teachers and any form of authority. I also see kids bullying other kids. I see children being murdered and violated of their innocence. I fear for these children. I fear they will never know love. I fear they will never know themselves. I fear they won’t know to obey rules for their protection. So here is what I would say to these kids.

You who have been abused, verbally, physically, sexually..I’m sorry. I’m sorry you deal with pain every day. I’m sorry you were let down by the people who said they loved you. I’m sorry you didn’t feel special. I’m sorry you don’t feel comfortable when someone else hugs you. I’m sorry for the scars and the bruises that have healed. I’m sorry you had to hear those words that cut you. The people who did those things to you will pay. If not, then later. I believe in the power of justice. Whether it comes from the law or from God. Don’t let that experience make you grow bitter and cold hearted. Don’t let that bitterness toward that person turn into hatred. Within time, however long it takes, be willing to one day let it go. If you keep holding onto it, it can be more damaging to you and your relationships with other people. What was taken from you can be given back. Let your heart and body heal. Let your mind heal. Don’t turn to alcohol. That only numbs the pain and causes more of it.

Respect your elders. Those who stood by you through the hard times. You never know when they will be taken from your life. Respect the people that say no to you. They are doing it for your own good. Respect when they say yes. Don’t take advantage of the freedom you are given. Because it can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

Don’t humiliate someone because they are different than you. In the way they dress, talk, or act. Those are the ones you should be treating in the best manner and intention. They might have something you need. Or you might have something they need. Everyone deserves to be respected and loved. When you don’t show that to them, they won’t show it to you. And other people you come across will repay you either way. So work on your character. Don’t become the person you hate. Become like the person you love.

Life is what you earn. Don’t expect a free handout from the world because of what kind of life you were given. This sense of entitlement has to end. No one is more special because of their income or lack of. Work hard. When you do, money is not the only reward. It is a sense of pride and self respect that no one else can give you.

Live with integrity. The decisions you make today can affect your tomorrow and the rest of your life. So think before you choose or act on. Think before you pick what to wear, what to say, and how you present yourself. Girls, the way you dress is a representation of who and what you are the world. Whatever you want to say or convey is shown by what you wear. People see the outside package first. Not the inside. So wearing that mini skirt and Wonderbra might grab some attention. But know this too. Attention does NOT equal love. If a guy just likes the way you look, that is all you will have. And you will feel shallow and hollow. And empty.

Guys, how you act is a statement to girls and the world. How you talk and act says more about you than how far you can throw a football or dunk a basketball. How you treat your mother is how you will treat all girls. Even your future wife. Your manhood is not defined by how many girls you sleep with. A man’s character should be what he does in the face of fear and faith.

Find your passion. Find what makes you come alive. What keeps you from sleeping and eating. (Not that you should do that.) Find what drives you and go after it. Don’t say next year I’ll do it. And then not do it. Do it while you are young and ambitious. Because when you get older, it will be harder to regain that ambition. Things will try to weigh you down and get in the way of you and your passion. But keep fighting. Don’t give up. Make something of yourself. Not for the approval or fame. But for personal fulfillment.

Most importantly, choose a path. A spiritual path. But choose the right one. Choose Jesus. Choose him to be a part of your life. Because without Him, there is no life or reason to live it. You may roll your eyes when someone mentions God or prayer. But it could be prayer that has kept you out of jail. Or kept you from overdosing. Or kept you from being injured in a serious car wreck. Or protected your heart from the wrong person. Don’t neglect prayer. It is a necessity in life. If you have trouble in believing in God, that is your choice. Everyone struggles with that some point in their life. You can go through many gods. The god of approval. The god of greed. The god of jealousy. The god of self love. But all other gods will fail you. Only the true God can save you from death. From hell. From eternal separation from every loving and breathing thing. So choose wisely.

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