Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letter to Benjamin

To know why I post these, read "Letters to my Children" first. The following is part of the letter I wrote for my son:

For Benjamin Lee Junior,

I love you my wonderful son! You are truly a joy and a blessing. You are so very much like your Momma! At times it was difficult to manage my temper and yours at the same time, but we got by. J You are so much more patient than me. You get that from your Daddy!

I was madly and deeply in love with you from the moment I felt your little life start to stir in my belly. I knew your name would have to be Benjamin Lee Junior, because the world needed another great man like your Dad.

Your Dad and I were very much in love always. From the moment we met. We both had been through relationships that were great, not so great and terrible. So we knew what a blessing we found in one another.

Life is a winding path, and all those dead ends and forks led us to each other and to you. So we could never regret any of it. You’ll learn to take the good with the bad and roll with it. A good man, like you, will be able to express emotions and think of the needs of his family above his own.

Take care with your heart, once broken it can heal irregularly. Surround yourself with friends that share your values and have your same ideals and goals. Your friends should be an encouragement and an enjoyment to you. Never remain in a negative relationship, even if it is your best friend.

If you must, tell them that you cannot continue to be around them if they are going to go down a destructive path. Pray for them always. But limit your time with them. This will keep you from following their mistakes, being blamed for their actions, and keep you surrounded by the kind of people you want your wife and children to emulate.

While it is true, that you don’t always choose who you fall in love with. You can limit your choices! That is why friendships become so important. They will direct you to your future wife in some way. It is always possible that one of your friends might be your future wife also.

Love should guide you in all your decisions. God IS love. So stay in his love and use it as the guidelines for all other relationships, decisions and actions. Talk to God as you would me or your Dad. Be respectful, honest and real. Be yourself. Speak plainly and expect an answer to be made available.

We have to work for our way in life. It is a daily struggle. Your actions must reflect who you want to present to God. Everything you do should be done as if it were to be presented to Him. Be excellent and never settle for mediocrity. Be the best you possible and always set the standard for others to follow whenever possible.

I say this not to add stress to your life. It should be a joy to achieve your best life. It is work, but some work can be fun. And even unrewarded deeds bring happiness in other ways. It really is better to give than to receive. That joy, once found, can never be taken away. The gift may break, corrode, and cease to be, but the joy from being the one that gave it and added to that happiness is eternal. It is also multiplying in nature. It will reward you many times over.

Never be in such a hurry that you cannot enjoy the small moments in life. This world is demanding. And value is placed on monetary gain and accumulation of wealth and possessions.

This is not the way it is supposed to be, but it is not possible to change it overnight. So instead be the change you want to see…Live your life the way you wish the world was and be that example for those who know no other way.

Spend time doing something you love. Cultivate your gift, be it art, music, medicine, engines… It is your gift to find. What makes your heart sing and your full being come alive? That is your gift.

1 Timothy 4:12
The Bible says “Let no man despise his youth.”  This is so true my son. Many will look down on beginners or the very young. They forget what is was like to be new or green at something. When you are successful, try to remember how you arrived there. Be helpful to those still learning, never allowing yourself to be made to feel naïve or stupid as you learn and grow.  You’ll get there. Always relax and enjoy the process as much as the end product.

I know that it was difficult for me when I wasn’t able to finish a project or complete something to MY standard. Sometimes it just isn’t possible. Learn to work efficiently and be able to walk away when needed. Life is full of stressors. Try to limit adding to them.

Be honest always. Remember that allowing someone to believe a lie is the same as telling one. Value those who are honest with you. Try to be the kind of man that is easy to talk to and appreciative of the truth even when it is uncomfortable to hear.

The saying about “Don’t kill the messenger” is a good one. Try to deliver harsh truths with care so you can maintain relationships. And when it is your turn to hear a truth that is difficult for you to believe at first or painful to believe, take some time to process it. Don’t respond from anger. Take a moment or two, or as long as you need before your response will be kind to the messenger.

Look after your family. When you are young, protect your sister, stand up for her and let your actions reflect your love and care for her. Honor your parents and your elders. Speak respectfully and with purpose.

When you find the woman that will be your wife, devote yourself completely to her. Make sure to choose a virtuous woman. And be sure that you are ready to be completely committed both to her and for her. Marriage is a commitment not a contract. There is no leaving due to differences later.

The woman you choose should love you completely in return. Ask the questions you need to ensure that you both share the same ideals and goals. Know yourself and your potential spouse. The greatest lie we tell is often the marriage vows told before we really know who we are.

Once you find your wife, let your every thought and action be for her and then for your children, your God and your family and friends. Provide for them, but be present for them too. Never be too busy, too tired, or too distracted when you are at home. There will be times when you cannot help it. But make those times the rare exceptions and not the rule.

Welcome one another with a smile, kisses, affection and sincerity. Always. Every time. Even if you are mad, sad or busy.

Make time to enjoy life. Share it with those that matter most. Do not spend time worrying about those that don’t. And trust that God is able to comfort and guide if you let Him.

You tend to be a thinker like your Mom. Try not to over think. Life is random. It will be what it will, no matter how much we plan and dream and think.

Know that there is nothing you can do that would remove my love for you. There is nothing you cannot ask your Father or your God. And if you obtain great power in this world, share it wisely and be kind. Know yourself and what you know to be true and maintain a life that will not allow your values to be corrupted or altered for money, power, fame or even love.

I believe that true love will not try to alter or remove anything. It will only add. You SHARE your life, heart and love with others. Never give anyone the reins to your life. Part of being an exceptional man means knowing when to share, when to take charge, and when to follow. It is a learning process. We all stumble with this, so learn to forgive yourself instead of punishing yourself.

I love you more than words. It has been a joy to have known you!

I love you always!


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