What Shall I Tell My Children?

I never bore children. Initially, I was terrified of labor and childbirth. Ever since seeing those unforgettable films about childbirth in elementary school, I was pretty much deterred from bearing children (smile). Later, I was pretty focused on my studies in school and aspirations for a career and did not have a burning desire to have children. Despite my lack of desire, however, I always had a strong maternal instinct — that innate capacity to love, nurture, inspire and motivate. (I suppose that’s why my closest friends and acquaintances often said to me: “You’d make a great mom.”) This maternal instinct was prevalent in many of my relationships over the years — with friends, siblings, team members and even lovers.

At the end of the day, I suppose one need not bear or raise children to possess an innate instinct or ability to love, nurture and guide another innocent or lost human being. And so, as I think of how I can give back to the universe a piece of what I have learned and gained on my journey, I think about the children, the future. And what shall I tell my children whom some have labeled “the lost generation?” What shall I tell my future, upon whose shoulders rests the fate of countries, of nations?

Know who and whose you are. Respect from whence you came. Move through life with intention; do not wander or waiver. Have faith in a higher power and believe in yourself.
You are creative and uniquely you and the world is your oyster. So, even when you think no one else believes in you, YOU believe in you.

In all your getting, get an understanding about your past so you can appreciate your future. And, if you feel that no one loves you, learn to love yourself. It’s ok to have heroes and “sheroes” in your life, but the greatest gift you can give yourself is to know that there is a hero right there inside you.

I wish that I could keep you from making my mistakes, but you’ve got your own life to live. If only I could show you that the road you’re taking has already been paved for you, thanks to the Martins and Malcolms and Sojurners and Sandra Days and Sotomayors and the ancestors, sung and unsung.

So go on your way and dare to dream. Yes, dream the impossible. Do the improbable. Fake it until you make it and, in time, you’ll see what I see — that all you’re meant to be is there inside you. Believe!

What shall I tell my children — young and old– in a world full of compromise, dreams deferred and hope that dies?

Stand tall. You are invincible, the ruler of your dreams. You’ll have joy and sometimes tears. There’ll be hope and sometimes fears, But yours is a life worth living and, in the end, the world will bow at your feet. So, enjoy YOUR journey and never, ever give up on your dreams!

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