Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome Jasmyn

Hello Jasmyn, welcome to the world. I would have had lots of helpful advice for you but unfortunately some other friends of mine (who you will no doubt meet) had a baby not so long ago and I used up my stock of desk calendar quotes welcoming her. Of course I have had a few months warning to think of something useful to tell you but a few months is barely enough time for me to register a pulse never mind give you the sort of advice that you will cling to throughout your adult life. I blame your parents really, if they had waited a year or two I'm sure this blog entry would have been much better. Still here you are athirst for wisdom and I will just have to do my best. Bear in mind that you can't actually sue me for anything I say here (I hope).

Firstly allow me to congratulate you on your choice of parents. This is a very important decision for a baby to make and many of them get it badly wrong. I'm pleased to see you avoided the pitfalls and went for quality from the get go. I'm also sure that I'm not just saying this because your father has a habit of lending me money.

Now that you have selected your parents remember that it is never too early to develop the sort of interesting character quirks that will infuriate them when you are a child and make them incredibly proud when you are an adult. At times you will wonder whether your choice of parents was a wise one. When those moments occur I invite you to examine your friends and look at the choice they made. I think you will see that on balance you got the best deal.

Now that we have your parents out of the way (something you will be trying to do for the next eighteen years) here are just a few tips to be going on with.

Firstly, don't waste any of your time looking for a meaning of life. There is no meaning of life and you can waste all of it looking for one. Realise though that this lack of meaning means that the potential your life has is limitless. You can't have a meaning of life but you can give your life meaning.

Secondly, respect the law. Note that I don't tell you to obey it necessarily. Some laws are stupid, ill conceived, out of date or were quite simply written by crazy people. However as a whole laws are the corporate soul of the human race. More than anything else, even religion, they bind communities together and make us something more than six billion apes alone in the night. Respect and understand the law. Only then will you have the right to occasionally break it.

Thirdly, in reference to my previous comment if you do break the law (for however justifiable a reason) there is the possibility that some heavy set people in blue are going come around and lock you up. Accept this, it is the price of breaking the law. If you're not prepared to pay it don't break the law. It is entirely permissible to hope that they never find out however.

Fourthly, there are many, many flaws in our society. By all means try and fix some of them if you have a little time to spare but don't go kidding yourself that you can actually replace our society with something better. Every attempt to do that has ended in disaster and an horrifically high body count. Remember "I meant it for the best" is not a good enough excuse for anything.

Fifthly, come and visit me in the old folks home from time to time. Wipe away the drool and listen to my senile ramblings. I won't be aware of you then of course but I thank you right now.

Sixthly, friends are good to have. So is integrity. Try and arrange it so that possessing one doesn't mean you compromise the other. Ultimately though, if it comes to a choice pick integrity. This will lose you many friends but it does mean that those you keep are pure gold.

Seventhly, and this is very important. Learn to distinguish between friends and people who are just fun to be around. I'm not saying you shouldn't associate with the latter occasionally but keep a clear distinction in your head.

Eighthly, family is important but remember that everybody is part of your family. Even me. Loyalty to your immediate family should not overshadow the loyalty you owe to the human family in its entirety.

Ninethly, kindness, compassion and forgiveness are rarely rewarded. Practice them anyway.

Finally, try not to be discouraged by defeat or failure. These things will happen and it is a measure of your character as to how you react to them. Use your defeats and failures as fuel to drive you on to more success. If you can do this visit me and tell me how.

Anyway Jasmyn (lovely name by the way) this is probably enough for you to be going on with and it occurs to me that your parents probably have control over your internet access at the moment which means you probably won't read this until after they're dead. I wish you all the success in the world and one day I will point at your face on the tv and boast that I knew you as a child.

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