You’re only twelve. Your skin is unbearable, your stutter… debilitating. It embarrasses you, and the bullies are vicious.
But listen to when mum tries to explain to you to not be angry, but to walk a mile in their shoes, understand them, because they matter too. And if you listen carefully, you’ll summon the bravery to beat your bullies
It’ll teach you empathy, that all of our roads are rugged, and being a good person is an optional choice that not many people take.
‘Be a good person, Jack’
But it won’t stop at the bullies. I know school’s tough —
‘Jack you can’t keep skipping school, you need to take those exams! Sit still and learn about algebra!’
You absolutely hate it, but you can’t be angry.
And when you go home and cry to mum that you failed another test, remember that it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to be lost, keep your head up.
You’ll learn from mum, who moved the family to look for work, that a job is more than a paycheque; it’s about dignity and respect, to give YOU better opportunities.
She’ll take you across the world, to beautiful places. She’ll show you the wonders of the world.
You’ll be able to witness the diversity across these 3 countries, the differences, but the shared stories . You’ll begin to understand that there are more things that unite people than things that differentiate us.
But you’ll be lost — you’ll try to figure out yourself, who you are and who you want to be. It’ll be difficult, you can’t keep lying to yourself that you’ll be fine, these questions matter.
“This is the very perfection of a man; to find out his own imperfection.”
It’ll be tough moving schools every few years, you won’t have many friends, but don’t be angry. Stop being so goddamn angry. Stop taking everything so goddamn personally.
It’s a tough time, I know. You can’t control the way you feel, you feel how you feel.
However, you’re NOT allowed to hurt others, lash out or beat yourself up because of the way you feel. Please understand that.
You’ll continue to doubt yourself, but focus!— you’re in the land of opportunity! Surrounded by future change makers, take advantage of it.
You are good enough.
You’re going to be wrong a lot in life, in fact, you’ll pretty much be wrong most of the time. That doesn’t make you a failure, you’re just somehow who happens to fail sometimes. Your ability to succeed and learn over the long term is proportional to your ability to adapt.
Don’t wish your life was easier, wish you were better.
And when mum, with tears in her eyes, asks you ‘when are you going to grow up?’ — take her words to heart. It’ll hit you hard. It’s okay, go take that long walk by yourself, figure this out.
Make a conscious decision that you’ll be better, not just for yourself, but for the people who believed in you, the smiles and tears that you’ve shared. So commit yourself. Start again, but do it 100% committed.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them as we pass, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that our eyes once watered”
You’ll move away from this home again, back home. This time you’ll have conviction in your choices.
The next 2 years will be completely different.
You try talk to mum as much as you can, whenever you chat there’s always so much to catch up on. No matter that time of day or where you are when she calls you, she’ll always ask:
‘Are you happy?’
It’s an important question — every day can seem like a grind, there’s endless things to do, meetings to attend, but what it really comes down to is you and everyone around you, who you are with …. The people who believe in you and support you.
And if you work very hard and are very lucky, you get to be part of something special that makes a lot of people very, very happy.
You’ll start to believe you’re good enough, and when you see people who don’t believe in themselves, you’ll tell them what you wish someone told you:
You are good enough.
See it’s not you or the people that have made something beautiful… it’s who you’ll help on your own journey, and that’ll make you extremely happy.
So be daring, Jack. Challenge yourself, be impractical, lead by example, show people the integrity of purpose against those who try play safe, those creatures of the commonplace.
“The present is theirs; the future, for which we really worked, will be ours .”
Thanks for stopping by.
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