To my son and daughter,
If this is my chance to offer a word of advice, just one set, I'll urge you to allow anyone to be your friend. Grant each person you meet the benefit of doubt. Be genuine and considerate and most folks will respond in kind... to lesser and greater degrees.
Those who exhibit vividly these traits and others you hold valuable may get more of your time than those who show less, as is natural. But give everyone a chance to take part in your life.
Kids, I know I can be overzealous in preventing you from forcing your wills on other children. But you have to understand the gravity of it. Despite it being cruel and abhorrent on its face, I find this behavior to be at the root of all too many of the world's ills. Too many children have been given too much, rewarded for actions that serve only themselves.
I will not allow this key character flaw to develop in you otherwise flawless young people. As children, you show nothing else but intelligence, strength and love, all the makings of heroic adults. As your parents, your mother and I simply have to encourage what already exists while fending off those aspects we find harmful to you and others.
Enjoy life for what it is, not what it can be forced to be. Enjoy those who make you smile, even if it's only for a moment.
Added April 29, 2003
By C. "Claxton" Murray
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