You’ll be a teenager soon and there are a few things that you should know. Life will have many challenges, but you are resilient and you will make it through with only a few scars and bruises. Please keep these things in mind over the next few years:
Your mother is a hard working woman who only wants to best for you.
Although your father isn’t around, don’t use his absence as an excuse. Learn all you can from the positive men in your life (uncles, pastors, teachers, and Mr. Brown down the street). They will teach you about manhood (and how to tie a tie). Those knuckleheads on the corner will not.
I know you hate it when your mom drags you to church, but one day you will understand why she wanted to build this spiritual foundation in your life.
I know that waking up early to catch the school bus to a school across town is a pain right now, but the sacrifice will pay immense dividends later in life. Knowledge is power. Never allow your thirst for learning to wane. Continue to excel in school even if the neighborhood kids accuse you of “acting white.” Academic excellence is not a trait reserved for white people. You are a smart, hard working, black boy. Be proud of that. Those guys who mocked you will be working for you one day if they’re lucky.
The kids in school may have better clothes, more money, and live in bigger houses than you do, but don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself. None of them are better than you. Stand tall and hold your head high.
Learn all you can about your grandparents and their lives because they won’t be around forever. They are a valuable source of history.
Be nicer to your sister.
Forgive your father.
Jennifer Dooley will like you as much as you like her, but your different races will keep you apart. I can’t promise you that you will live in a world where race is no longer an issue, but I can tell you that things will improve.
On the other hand, you will miss out on opportunities to go out with other girls unless you get over your fear and ask them out. They will probably say yes. Trust me. And if they don’t, try again with another girl.
Don’t listen to those people will try to talk you out of spending the summer in Israel. Just do it.
Waiting for sex is one of the best decisions you will make. Again, trust me.
You will have to decide between going to a state college with an all expenses paid scholarship or an out-of-state private college with a partial scholarship. Although it won’t seem like it, you will make the right choice.
You will marry the woman of your dreams. Always cherish her.
Finally, you will be a father of three children one day. Start preparing now.
Question: What would you say to your younger self?