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Thoughts for My Sons
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Jun 09, 2015
Dear Joshua and Noah:
I trust that you know how much I adore both of you. Being your father has been the greatest gift of my life.
As you know, I'm far from perfect. And the truth is that you will learn all that you really need to learn during your lifetimes from your own choices and experiences.
But here are some random thoughts that I hope you keep close to your hearts as you try to find meaning through the ups and downs that are ahead.
If a friend hands you a wrapped gift or tells you that a gift is on its way, it's not enough to say thank you in that moment. Be sure to call or write upon receiving and opening the gift because I guarantee they will be wondering if you got it and how much you like it.
If someone is ever generous and thoughtful enough to lend you a car when you really need one for a few hours, make sure you return that car with a full tank of gas.
Once in a while when you see someone who looks despondent in a restaurant or behind you in a drive-thru, if you can afford to do so, pay his or her bill anonymously.
Once a year, go through all your stuff and donate, recycle, or throw away everything you haven't used in the past twelve months. Be free of clutter.
A good friend is someone who is thoughtful and won't intentionally hurt or take advantage of you.
A great friend is a good friend who can make you smile from your heart and laugh from your belly.
An extraordinary friend is a great friend who really wants to understand you.
If you choose to get married, aim to marry an extraordinary friend, but only if you are an extraordinary friend back.
Stretch every day, but not to a point where you create lax ligaments and unstable joints.
Be physically active every day, enough to work up a sweat, but not so much where you are at risk of not having enough cartilage in your knees and hips when you are older.
Eat mostly natural foods that aren't heavily processed. But don't make your food choices the main focus of your life.
Rinse, floss, and brush your teeth gently and regularly. Ask a dentist who you trust to let you know if your teeth show signs of wear from grinding, and if they do, wear a mouth guard when you sleep.
Sing from your heart when you're sad. Sing from your heart when you're happy. Sing.
Take a few minutes every day to think about something that you're deeply grateful for.
Also spend some time every day to say a prayer for people you would walk across the continent for.
When the time is right to learn to make a living, focus on creating real value for others. If you can help people improve their quality of life in a significant way, you will always have something to live for and you won't lack for a way to support yourself.
Above all else, strive to be truthful, real, and kind, and in moments of darkness, please know that being here with you was the best part of my life.
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