To my son,
Accept responsibility for your actions. Don't cast blame on everything and everyone around when you make a mistake. Don't use past mistakes as an excuse for future mistakes. Step up and help people even when they don't deserve it because you are the bigger person. Always be respectful but do not confuse that with trust. Trust is earned but respecting others shows good manners. Always stand up for the little guy. Never forget where you came from or those that helped you get where you are. Appreciate the things life gives you and tell people about it. Love your family no matter what, God gave you these people for a reason. Every once in awhile, take one for the team. Always buy from a child selling something. Don't second guess yourself, your first instinct is usually right. Stand up for yourself and your friends. Don't tell other people's secrets. Never loan someone something you aren't willing to lose. Don't let yourself get backed into a corner, always have a Plan B. If something is too good to be true, research it. Be honest with people even if it makes you look bad. Don't take love for granted. It has to be worked at. Try looking at situations from the other person's perspective. You don't have to go to college but find something you love and work at making yourself better at it. Spend as much time with your children as possible. They will help you find the joy in the small things. Never place a bet on something you aren't 100% sure of. See the world it will help you gain perspective. There is nothing free in life. You or someone else will have to pay for it some way or another. The world is not fair or just, the sooner you learn this the better off you will be. Learn moderation, too much of anything is bad. Get plenty of sleep, things are usually better in the morning.
* Inspired by Alice's Wonderland post