Saturday, March 23, 2013

What I want for my daughters

• To be bold and adventurous and zealous, but not careless (take risks but not dumb ones – with your body or heart or psyche);

• be confident and sure of yourself, but not arrogant (feel good about who you are, but not by looking down on others);

• be kind, gentle, compassionate, empathic, idealistic and positive, but not naïve (give someone the shirt off your back but don’t let anyone walk all over you);

• travel the world, but come home often;

• be a fierce competitor, but not at all costs (sometimes you lose but if you tried hard that’s ok; some days you may not even feel like trying hard, that’s ok, too – there’s always tomorrow; sometimes it’s alright if the other guy wins);

• pursue intellectualism, but don’t sacrifice good common sense in the process (sometimes your innate wisdom will be a better guide than all the reference books in the world);

• have depth, without becoming heavy-hearted;

• be dutiful, but not burdened;

• see the good in people, but keep an eye out for the wicked ways of the world;

• hold true to your values, but don’t be self-righteous;

• be sure of your convictions, but not judgmental of others who disagree with you;

• know what makes you happy, but don’t be afraid to try new things;

• have high expectations for yourself, but forgive yourself when you don’t meet some of them;

• enjoy all life has to offer, but know that resources are limited (share when you can, and turn the light off when you leave the room);

• feel like you belong, but be wary of unfettered loyalties and blind allegiances (to a person or a religion or a nation);

• respect authority, but question it (and challenge it when you think it’s wrong);

• laugh a lot, but don’t ridicule;

• be courageous, but not a martyr;

• be principled, but not dogmatic;

• feel free to express yourself, but choose your words carefully (words can do a lot of damage, and you can never truly take them back once you’ve said them);

• take care of yourself: eat well (but bring on the fudge brownies sometimes), get plenty of rest (but stay up all night giggling with your best friend sometimes) and get plenty of exercise (but take a day off and snooze in front of the television sometimes);

• be strong, but don’t ever think you can be totally independent (the world is inter-connected in ways we can’t fully understand; it’s been said that a butterfly flapping its wings in China affects the weather in the US… I don’t know about that, but I do know that we’re all in this together and the best we can hope for is to be inter-dependent).

And remember.... all things in moderation (including moderation); it's all about balance. Life is good. It’s a little scary sometimes, but good, nevertheless. Dangerous? It can be, but most times it’s safe (just look both ways, buckle-up, scrub your fruits and vegetables and keep plugging along). Yes, there are some downright awful people in the world, but the nice ones outnumber them a thousand to one. See the beauty in everyday things, see the glass half-full, stop and smell the roses, value the simple things in life: the birth of a butterfly is magic and an afternoon looking for four-leaf clovers is a perfect antidote for that dreadful math quiz.

Mostly remember this: in this life, there is a constant tug and pull between good and evil, love and hate. But in the end, good wins out. Love prevails.


  1. I just discovered this blog & the publishing company web site and I LOVE this idea. This list above is great for daughters or anybody, really. I wish everyone could have dads (and moms) that think and care this much about their kids.