Dear Kid, Be F!@$ing Selfish.

By writetoinspire

Dear kid,

It has been a long time since I wrote to you.

I've had a trying and busy year - worked on a couple of key projects, kept countless late nights, joined work parties of associates, scored a promotion and doing my best to stay in the best shape of my life - all these kept me away from you. Well, the truth is that I prioritized myself before you. I was selfish. If you were expecting an apology from me, then you are so wrong. To be honest, I loved every second of it and I would not have changed a single thing even if I could turn back time.

Almost every parent I met made their kids their first priority.

I have a colleague named Tom. He is your average drone and good corporate citizen, clocking in and clocking out on-time. When you talk to him about work, you sense that he is clocking the hours, waiting for his paycheck. He says "I don't wanna rock the boat man... let's live and let live". His eyes always look tired, drained of life and excitement. Once I asked him about what's happening in his life and he went: "Kids loh, what's new?" When you enquired further, he lights up and starts his soliloquy of his kids' accolades and achievements. He looked a completely different guy, now full of life and energy while taking about his kids. His kids have BECOME him; and he IS his kids. When the topic concerning his kids was over, he reverted to the old dull Tom I know.

There are millions of parents like Tom. They derive their self-worth from their kids. Their kids are their number one priority in life - their little princes and princesses. They attend top notch tuition and all the random nonsensical enrichment classes. They get shuttled to places like VVIPs. They get told they were all winners, even if they were mere participants. They do pretty well in school to get by (they forgot it's a zero sum game when every parent is doing the same thing) Now, they even get special access to branded schools if their parents are rich enough to pull strings.

At the same time, these parents screwed up elsewhere:

• they got out of shape and their health suffer ("I've been wanting to exercise, BUT I had to settle the kids for school/class/insert whatever shit)

• they neglected their marriage, some ending in divorces ("It's all about the kids first, dear....")

• they overextended their finances ("let's live near Bukit Timah"; "Let's sign him up for this tuition/insert whatever shit class")

• they screwed up their career (making ends meet, not taking acceptable risks and playing safe, kissing ass instead of kicking ass at work; unenviably they become the first to get the sack.

• they forget to pursue their goals and dreams.

I believe that the reason they do all these is to overcompensate for who they can't become. And they do these for good reasons - wanting their kids to have a better life than they did.

But here is where I know they got it wrong. They focused on their kids and forgot about themselves.

The best thing I can do for you is to be the best person I can be, to live a life worth living myself, so that you will understand the joy of living and hopefully desire and want this for yourself.

Start by being selfish. Be your own man and live a life for yourself, not for your wife, your children, or your parents.

I wish you the best.

Your Dad.


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