What I would like to tell my younger self

What I would like to tell my younger self

I reckon, I’m not alone (with reference to the meme above, and to my surprise, there are similar others to be found on the Internet, suggesting others thinking similarly) when it comes to dreaming of going back in time and passing on words of wisdom to my younger self, not so much as to what lies ahead but rather how to approach life, with a view of making so much more out of it than I have. Such is an impossibility without time travel, but just maybe there will be opportunities that arise (and often they do and in unexpected ways) of guiding young people in the right direction, maybe subtly or by example, but in the knowledge it would be so much better for all if they took your advice, but we must do so gently, humbly, kindly.

  1. Life is short and you only truly realise that is the case when you are old – the moral being carpe diem (seize the day)
  2. Respect the elderly – you will be like them should you last that long (and you might not as we don’t know how long we have)
  3. Being kind is more important than being rich, successful, popular, powerful, cool, smart etc., whatever your peers, who we may want to impress, may say. Learn to forgive others, including yourself
  4. Learn to make a positive difference – the sad truth is too many make a difference that is worthless, but you can do something great, even if it is raising a family, being a good neighbour, helping your community – being a good person, salt of the earth
  5. Looking after the poor, weak, vulnerable is of more value (in the longer term) than pandering to the rich, strong and powerful
  6. Try and live healthily … food, diet, rest, exercise, relationships, activities, attitudes, work life balance etc. and don’t do things that might cause you to become addicted (alcohol, drugs etc.). And don’t forget financial health: earn, save, invest, give
  7. You are a very small cog in a very large machine. Don’t over-estimate your importance yet, on the other hand, don’t under estimate it – the good Lord has put you here for a purpose … but it is worth remembering too that whatever has gone before (good or bad; success or failure) you still have your part to play
  8. Things are often not what they seem and nor are they what others tell us – so question everything and be diligent in searching out a matter where you may want / need to come to a view
  9. The world is made up of three classes of people: fools, villains and good guys, and it is not always obvious which camp people are in (usually they have feet in all of them) – so beware and take note
  10. Don’t give into bullies – if you don’t stand up to them now, it will only get worse as life goes on (and don’t you be a bully either)
  11. We all have our own perspective of what is right, true etc. and more often than not there is more than one valid perspective – recognise this before getting on your dogmatic high horse
  12. Cultivate friendships with both sexes but don’t be disappointed if they let you down or stop being friends – you may be surprised who at the end your true friends are – but then you will have at least done your part. True friendship is a wonderful thing.
  13. Pursuit of and then living the truth is what really matters, and be trustworthy, even if it may place you in awkward situations and lose friends (but you will surely then gain new friends if you do)
  14. When it comes to education, do your best, make the most of your opportunities and pursue excellence, recognising some subjects you may be good at / interested in (and focus on) and some not
  15. Education does not end with school or college – it goes on throughout life. Read widely as there is so much of value that can be learned (you may not otherwise be aware). If reading is not your thing, observe, as there is much to learn but, in any case, you will only end up knowing a mere fraction of what there is to know
  16. When it comes to what is going on in the world and how it might turn out, by all means get understanding but recognise too there is only one who knows all and has control over the whole picture
  17. Recognise, there is an unseen, in the main not recognised (even by those we expect better of), battle going on between forces of God, good and light and those of Satan, evil and darkness
  18. Love (and ALL that entails) thy neighbour (whoever he/she is) (treat others as you wish to be treated) ought to be your number two guiding principle after loving God with your whole being
  19. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” Proverbs 9:10
  20. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” Ecclesiastes 12:1

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