My commitment to me

Dear Graham,

You’re 31 years old now. Or maybe 45. Or maybe you’re still 27 and you’ve already felt the need to read this letter.

I’m not sure. (But congratulations on making it this far, all the same.)

You asked me, I mean asked you, I mean you told yourself to remind yourself of a few things in the near future. I suppose that means now. And tomorrow. And every day for the rest of your life.

(You probably should have read this yesterday, too.)

Remember to encourage, appreciate, and listen.

Remember to encourage your parents. And to continually let them know that you truly appreciate the life they’ve provided for you. The opportunity. The foundation. The discipline.

Remember to appreciate each relationship you’ve had the privilege of being a part of. Each of these people taught you many lessons and encouraged you to be a better man. You never listened at the time, of course, but years later, you realized they were some of your best teachers.

Remember to always spend less time talking and more time listening. Respect others’ time by sharing your opinion only on matters in which you have actual experience or insight to offer.

And remember to never stop.

Never stop playing.

Never stop exploring.

Never stop loving.

Never stop smiling.

And remember to always be.

Always be learning.

Always be uncomfortable.

Always be striving.

Always be singing.

And always be following your heart.

(But make sure it’s leading you somewhere wholesome.)

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” —George Bernard Shaw