Posted February 2, 2012 by jimhigley
An open letter to every kid who has ever rolled their eyes when an adult said, “Hey, these are the best days of your life!”:
First of all, I’m sorry if that didn’t make you feel better. We weren’t trying to downplay the stress you deal with on a daily basis. We didn’t want to suggest that your real feelings didn’t matter. More than likely, we were just trying to help put a positive spin on things.
Here’s the reality – at least as seen from this dad’s eyes. Every part of life has its good parts, its not-so-good parts, and it’s awesome parts. Living life means you get the highs and lows. And as much as us parents want to protect you, bad and sad things do happen. The goal, I think, is to have more good, awesome things in your life than the crummy things. Because if you have more “good” then I think you have a terrific shot at always having parts of your life feel like “The Best Days.”
So how do you get those good days?
Actually, I think the older you get, the more you have the ability and responsibility to help bring goodness to your life. It starts with your attitude and outlook. It’s supported by having positive friends. It’s reinforced by doing things that are healthy for your body and your mind. Some of you may think this seems impossible. But I promise, the older you get – the more you will have the ability to bring good things into your life.
Even if you don’t feel that way right now.
I also know some of you have some really tough situations in your life today. Maybe it’s a bad home life. Maybe it’s a mom or dad with problems of their own. Maybe it’s issues at school. Teachers. Other kids. Maybe it’s lack of acceptance. Maybe it’s lack of tolerance. Maybe it’s worse.
You’re told that it will get better. And maybe some of you are rolling your eyes at that, too.
But the truth is, it CAN get better and it WILL get better. But you need to be part of the process. (And, yes, this is the part of my annoying dad habit where I repeat myself). But there are two things I really want you to remember:
First, you can bring goodness into your own life. Go back and read my paragraph that begins with, “Actually, I think the older you get….” Read it. Remember it. And believe it.
Second, every part of life has good things and not so good things. This will be the case when you’re 20, 36, 48 and 90. Keep working to bring more goodness in your life. The more good things in your life, the happier you will be. Every age holds elements of “The Best Days.”
So what can you do if you feel like you’re living in a dark hole right now?
For starters, you don’t deserve to feel that way. You deserve to be treated with respect. You deserve a healthy environment to grow up in. You deserve that and so much more. And you deserve an adult to help you find solutions. There are always solutions. Maybe you’ve tried to get someone to listen and they didn’t. Good for you for trying. And I’m sorry that person didn’t step up to the plate to help. Some people just aren’t good at helping. But there are individuals who will help. You just have to keep asking people you trust. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, teachers, former teachers, principals, advisors, ministers, rabbis, a kind neighbor, a youth leader – there are options for you. Maybe it’s a parent of a friend. You deserve the help of an adult.
Don’t try to fix it alone. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to fix things alone when you’re an adult.
So even if these days don’t feel so good, there are an abundance of good days waiting for you to discover, experience and savor. Go find them. Make them yours.
Because you deserve it.