Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Advice to my son

"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway. Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." - Mother Teresa
It's a long quote, but highly worth reading in its entirety. There is so much advice I want to share with my son and sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to communicate it all to him.
Today on my way to work I decided to listen to the am news radio. I rarely ever do that, normally I use z100 to get my mornings started. Anyway, two stories out of all the 'top news weather and traffic' caught my attention. One was about a driver who was killed when something flew off the top of a truck in front of him and smashed into his windshield and the other was about a young woman shot and killed in Boonton, NJ. Her husband was also shot and is in critical condition, leaving behind two small sons. All I could think of was how sad it is and my heart really went out to that small child who will only have vague memories of his mother. These are the kind of stories you hear on the daily news all the time so I felt bad, but didn't think much further into it. But when I found out that the woman was a Pakistani Muslim relative of someone I knew it changed things. Now, the woman could have been anyone and it'd still be a tragic event, but I guess when you somehow have a link to the person it just makes it that much more tragic and hits home that much harder.
It made me reflect on how much I worry about raising my child right now. My daily worries entail : Why is he's not eating right? Is it due to teething pain or does he just not like veggies? And why is he still not sleeping well through the night? When will this stop? Will it ever?? When will he start walking and talking? He's so hyper now, I don't want him to grow up to be an ADD child, how can I control that now?
That last one..How can I control that...Those two stories from today's headline showed one thing. Not much is in my control. I can't control a tire flying off the back of a truck hitting my car or a bullet shot at my family while we go for a walk. We get so caught up in the micro worries of the daily routine, that we sometimes forget to reflect upon the greater picture. I can't even control the daily things that hurt him like teething pain so what good will I be able to do if I'm gone and he's left an orphan? But, there are things that you can control. Things that will help him when you aren't around anymore. Like how you behave around him, how tightly you hug him, how you sing to him and rock him to sleep, how you teach him life lessons not always verbally but mainly through your actions.
I hope to teach Ali to be a good person, to be humble and loving, to have strong morals and values, and understand the greatness of God. To make mistakes as that is a part of life, but to learn from the examples of his mother mistakes also. I may not be able to take great bold steps to change the entire world. But if I can change the world of this one child, my life was well spent. Focusing on that concept, makes the rest of the worldly woes seem so trivial.
I know that if I'm gone tomorrow he'll still get by. He'll still have clothes on his body, food in his belly and a roof above his head. I know that, because I know that God is the one who defines destiny and He'll take care of my son's needs..even when I am alive, it's not me but Him who provides all that..for all of us...
When I look at families who have lost small children or at families who've lost parents..they all still go on living..but the quality of their life is greatly affected. So, if I look at each interaction; and not only with just my son but with everyone, as an opportunity to affect their life for the better, to leave a mark so that when I am not around they remember me for all good reasons, that in my mind is the best goal for my existence.
Mostly, I hope Ali absorbs even a tidbit of information that his mom wants to convey to him.