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Thoughts for My Sons

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.

Love,
Appa

 
 

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Comments

A very beautiful letter, filled with priceless information!

A soulful letter, Dr Kim. I don't have children but it is just what I would have liked them to know. Thank you for writing these gems. They enrich our lives. To your wonderful words, I could probably think of adding the few below:
-Whenever you begin to compare life with friends, relatives and other known/unknown beings, remember the only comparison and competition that stands to add value to life is with yourself.
-Let no one tell you that money is not important. But don't put it before love and health. Strive to create value than success.
-Finding satisfaction in life is more important than being perceived as successful. Satisfaction is an inside job where as success is how the world perceives your journey.

-Let no one tell you that money is not important. please permit me to ADD "But always remember that "money is not everything in life and money is not life"

This is one of the best ideas, to record these random thoughts that you may not get to offer in normal conversations had with vibrant,dynamic youngsters.
I remember wishing that I coild freeze moments when some great idea struck me and I wanted to convey this profound gem, that would let my kids know more about me, but a single bored look or errant sound would shut down all communication. So I applaud your choice to leave your sons these insights. Don't forget to date some of your utterings, so that they realize the progression and development of your wisdom; thus they will not be expecting to "know it all" at any one time. As they observe that you grew over the years. Be sure to include things that you learned from your Mom and Dad to connect the generations. Good job!

I have been following your newsletter for a decade, at least, 8 years at my current email address. There has not been one day but that your words have comforted, enlightened, and motivated my life. You have become a 'son of the heart", and as I approach 70 years old, I wanted you to know that your kindness, your wisdom, your caring all those years ago when I asked you one simple question about my declining health truly, honestly, saved my life.

Sometimes I think that you may not be aware how much the words you write touch us. You, Ben Kim, touch us deeply. Sometimes I think you may not see in yourself what we see...a man of honor, an honest man, a 'giver' who gives beyond what most would even consider giving. You are a rare and precious treasure, a great gift. I hope that, next time you look into a mirror, you will be able to see what so many of us see...hope, love, kindness, a man of unspeakable value.
Thank you.
Thank you is not sufficient, but thank you.
You and your dear family have been, are now, and will continue to be in every prayer spoken from this one.
Let me play 'Spock' and just say, 'Live long, and prosper' and may your sons learn each day the priceless lessons you teach us all.
Gratefully,
Waninahi

If there would be more people like Dr. Kim, our life would be beautiful on this planet of ours. We have two sons also (ages 59 and 53). How great to receive so much best info all around!! You mentioned on colon - wish I would live closer to learn more on colon difficulties I destroyed it years ago. Now I can be health "nut" and spirit "nut" connected from Above in these last days. Thanks Dr.Kim!!

Ditto. Well said. I too feel the same way and have only been following Dr. Ben for about a year.

What a wonderful loving letter to your sons, How lucky your family is to have each other. Thank you for sharing. namaste', rachel

I would add: as 54you interact with other people, you will develop an ability to sense who has a genuine interest in your well being and who does not. Be aware of this sense and heed its guidance.

You were...
beings of light like the stars in the heavens,
bright sparks of the divine truth of the universe
long before you were ever conceived, my sons.
How would I know?
I was there when you walked through me onto this earth plane.
I watched you and watched over you.
Such again will you be when your time here is finished,
be not afraid.
Birth is far more than the living see.
Life is far more than the living see.
Death is far more than the living see.
Bright sparks of the divine light you were,
and so again you shall be.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey.
Love is forever, my sons,
shine on.

What a wonderful idea! My mother died when I was five, and my father (after MANY years with no contact) when I was 26. If I had had even the tiniest bit of any kind of information from them, it would have meant a lot and possibly have changed my life. I'm going to share your message with friends who have children, even adult children. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Lovely letter, Dr. Kim, and of course everyone will have something from their own life experience to add to your list. For me, the biggest breakthrough in my life was giving up any and all alcoholic drinks and any drugs at the age of 63. I didn't have to, I just realized that alcohol was not contributing anything useful or positive to my life. This is a hard thing to explain to your children because the vast majority of them DO drink, if only "socially". My kids (they are adults now) cannot imagine 'givng up drinking' becasue all their friends drink, as do their workmates and relatives. So how does one pass this message along without causing fear and resentment? I guess the best way is to teach by example, but that I have realized this way too late in my life.

Ms. Ward please pray a prayer everyday for your family & others. It is never too late.

Well written. We all need to leave a legacy - if LOVE is the legacy, then we've taught our children well.

Every so often I find myself in the presence of an angel, who surpasses everything I could expect of them and more.
As you go through life and experience pain as well as delight, gratefulness and joy I have realised that every so
Often someone 'stands out' as special and that is YOU....thank you for your words of wisdom, shared over the years.
Your family problems, yes we all have them, and how you deal with them and share them with us all. THANK YOU!!!

Dr. Ben, you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your love for your family with us. You teach us so much about what's truly important in life. What a blessing you are to us all.

Thank you Ben Kim!

No amount of gratitude can equate how much we your reader are greatful for heart touching & soul healing messages you pass down to us. I envy your unparallel/ unequal wealth experience & thougts. Suffice to say "you are a blessing for those privilegde to come across your write up"

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and, knowledge and love. It helps us all benefit and grow together. I was fortunate to have a family in Pyong Taek when in Korea who trusted me with their care. A true honor and privilege.

 

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