Dear Dallen Joe,
As of right now, you are a tiny, fearless, & stubborn little one year old. Qualities that, at this time, make your mama want to pull her hair out, but I know will be admirable qualities that will bring you far in life down the road. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish. There are a few things I want you to know as you navigate this thing called life… so here goes.
The cardinal rule in my life is: Be kind. And I hope that it is your desire to make it yours as well. Kindness goes a long way. You never know what another human you encounter is going through. A gesture as simple as a smile, a “hello,” or holding the door open for a stranger can go a long way and completely change their day. You may be the only person they talk to that day-- make it count.
Speaking of holding doors open, chivalry is not dead and I will not allow it to die with you. Take care of those around you. Do not wait for someone to ask for help, step in when you see a need. Open the car door for your date, and when she becomes your girlfriend, continue to open the door for her. If that girlfriend becomes your wife, keep opening the door for her. It is a simple gesture that won’t go unnoticed.
Respect your elders. I know you will likely go through a time in your life when listening to those older than you is the last thing you want to do, but try to find perspective and respect their words of wisdom and advice.
You don’t have to behave, but please, for the love, be careful. Use your head. Being reckless and doing dangerous things may be a great adventure but I love you and don’t want to see you hurt… so please, be careful.
Treat women with respect. If you wouldn’t allow another man to say something to your sister or me, you should not be saying it to another woman. Women can be difficult beings, we are hard to figure out, but just choose respect and kindness is those tough times. You are her protector and her rock, make her feel secure. Do not ever pressure her to do something she doesn’t want to do, ever.
All of the money in the world does not equate happiness. Money also does not define your success. Do not measure your worth based on how much money you make. You are more than that.
Be vulnerable. So often it is encouraged for men to be strong and not show emotions. It is ok to communicate and be open about your feelings. Showing your emotions does not make you weak.
Your family should always come first. As a man it can feel like in order to put your family first you have to provide them with everything they want, the best gift you can ever give to your family is your time. Do not allow work to take over your life. God didn’t put us on this earth to make a living, He put us on this earth to make a life- Don’t forget that.
And lastly, do not forget that there is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you any less. I am proud of you, always. You will do great things, with great heart! Believe in yourself, take chances, be respectful, work hard, smile, and begin each day with gratitude in your heart. I love you!
- Kassidy K.