Saying the Unsaid, Finally, To My Son

Dear Michael,

I’ve skipped so much here in these “letters,” even though I have more to tell you. I’ve left out everything I want to say but would never dare.

So let me make amends and give it a shot now.

For starters, I urge you to eat more vegetables. You’ll never regret it. What’s the big deal anyway? There. I said it.

You should also go easier on the cologne. You’ve heard that suggestion before, too. You’ll smell just as good with less.

You should vary your exercise routine – a little of this, a little of that. Take it beyond pushups and crunches. But you knew that.

The floor in your bathroom I’ll leave unmentioned. It speaks for itself.

Okay, so much for the lighter stuff. Now let me get a little serious.

You should get out more (I know, I should, too). I know the writing has to get done mostly at the computer. But still, getting out and about more will refresh you.

You should give nature a chance, too, while you’re at it — develop an appreciation of it. I know, I sound like an old hippie. Well, maybe I am. Still, admire the sky, the trees, the rivers, if for no reason than because it might bring you a moment of peace and wonder.

Read more widely – newspapers, magazines, books. Read, particularly the writers, including movie critics, you like best, writers you might want to follow. You’ll find heroes and inspiration.
Be more opportunistic. You’ve heard us say this, of course. Take advantage of certain situations that pop up – people you should know, stuff you should do – because it might be your only chance.

Be more curious, too. Maybe I’m being predictable and unimaginative here, but the whole world is a classroom. We can all learn so much more if we open our minds. Even a stranger on the street can be a teacher.

P.S. – Part 2 will appear tomorrow.

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