I don’t have a child. Not that I don’t want one, but I guess the stork hasn’t gotten the instruction yet. Or it got lost in Riau smoke. God knows.
Nevertheless, at my I age I start to feel parental instinct. That I wished I had a child to talk to. Or to write to. To share what I learned so far living. And hence I am writing this letter. This is a letter to my imaginary child. But perhaps, it could speak to other people’s real child too :)
A Letter To My (Imaginary) Child
Let me start with an apology
I am sorry you were not brought into a perfect world
Instead, you were born into a place full of suffering, of natural disasters, but worst of all, you will be living among humans full with faults, same as you.
But let me assure you, that this imperfect world provides opportunities of little paradises along the way
That human kind is given the precious ability to feel
Because even though you will feel anger, sad, hate, grieved, despair, betrayed, alone, afraid
So too you will feel love, hope, joy, compassion, friendship, and courage
You will fall and stumble on your journey. Everybody will.
But do not dwell at the bottom and whimper for too long
Because believe me when I tell you,
Victory may lie at the destination,
but true glory is when someone gets back on his feet again, dusts himself off, and walk again
Don’t you worry about heaven and hell. You are just a selfish prick if all you think is whether you got a place in heaven, or be spared from hell.
Don’t you worry about heaven and hell. Look up the sky instead. And fly. And conquer it.
But do worry about how you treat other people. Be nice, be compassionate, be helpful. Don’t strive to be a genius, but first try not to be a douche, a jerk, or a prick. Your intelligence can not bring heaven to your life. But other people can. And hell they can bring also. So be nice to other people.
And do know this. Life is random. Life is not discriminate. Life is not racist. Life is not judgmental. Life just happens.
If bad things ever happen to you, there are only two possibilities. It is a direct consequence of your own deed, or it is just a pure random event. If it is the former, make a lesson out of it, and move on.
If you are certain it is NOT the former, make peace with yourself and accept that shit does happen. You will only be wasting time if you try to know whether the gods just want to make your life miserable, or that you are being punished over some unknown reasons.
Life is a song, with probabilities as lyrics and chances as melody. Learn to dance to the music, and you will be fine.
Freedom is your entitlement. But remember, exercise your freedom so it does not violate other people’s freedom. Because if you do, it is not freedom. It is tyranny.
Do not be ignorant. Respect knowledge, respect wisdom. There is not anything under or over the sky too sacred for you to question. At every moment, till the day you die, find the opportunity to learn. Remember your teachers are all around you, be them people, writings, or even nature.
If there is one trait I hope you will forever nurture, it’s humility
Because when you are humble, you will never feel too smart
Too smart to learn from people with different values, beliefs, or colors. Or from people who seem humbler than you
And when you never feel too smart to learn, you will continue learning for the rest of your life
And a truly wise person you shall become
And with that wisdom, I pray that you find your real happiness.
I shall cease to exist in this world, that is just the way Life is
When that day comes, you will learn to let me go
By then, you may already have a child of your own, and that you too pass on the lessons of life to him
But even if you don’t, remember you can still share your wisdom, your knowledge, your discoveries, to other people, so that they can become your Children in Knowledge and Life
This is all I can share with you, for now. Now live, and let me learn from you as well.