Dear kids,

I’ve often thought about what I should leave you that you could find useful during your life when I might be gone in a few years in the future. I thought I could do some audio or some video or write something by hand and place it in an envelope but audio means I need to store it in a format you can use and a place you can find which might be tough. Video has a similar problem really and writing will have the problem of my terrible handwriting. I was always good at writing but never quite as good at handwriting (as my teachers often told me) so I might spare you from the trouble of trying to read my scribbles. I did something similar with my father. Losing those you love is inevitable. I hate being a fatalist but I do want to have some voice clips to remember him by so one day, I put him in the car and took him on a long, long drive where I asked him very many questions about his childhood, his teenage years and a lot of other things. You’ll find those recordings if you keep reading these articles.

For you, in fact, I might do a combination of all of these and leave clues about where you might find more. This first one is here on my blog, which I haven’t updated in a while and I hope will still be here in a few years. I don’t see why it shouldn’t! It’s survived the first 14 so far. In internet time, that’s almost archaeology!

Some of the texts will be short. The short ones will be quick thoughts or pieces of advice I want to make sure you read and can refer to now and again. Some will be longer and will be thoughts and quick tips on how things work according to your dad. The long ones will be long winded rants, gripes or strategies on things that have affected me, your mother and probably you too or they might be stories from my childhood that I think will be important for you to know..

In any case, these are here to keep us together. I hope you enjoy them. You might even discover them sooner than later and we might even be able to discuss them.

By the way, they’ll be public and might even draw a little interest and criticism from others. Never worry about criticism. It’s a very useful thing. I’ve been critical of many things during my life, even to the level of being in conflict with those who I’m criticizing. More often than not, it’s lead to something good happening. Some might call it “constructive conflict”. This type of conflict doesn’t mean harm but rather it tries to achieve a good outcome. So, here’s advice No 1. ALWAYS GIVE FAIR CRITICISM and BE STUBBORN and RAISE HELL if something should be done better to the benefit of society. In the end, it will become better.

In the same light, equally important is accepting fair criticism. As I said above, it’s super useful. You first reaction might be to just get into defense mode or worse, lash out in attack mode. Chill please. It can be demoralizing or feel hurtful. You may have put a lot of effort into an activity and getting criticised by someone who does or doesn’t know much about the subject can be tough. The important thing is to look at it in a positive light. Take what seems a negative and turn it into a positive. If it’s honest, it will spur you into doing it better. Step two is to open communication with your critic. Do this in a positive way. Thank them. Thank them for taking the time to consider your work and taking more time to provide feedback. This is the time to make a promise. Commit to taking this criticism seriously. Stay humble. Become better and be the better person you can be.

If the criticism has negative and petty insults included, ignore those and focus your response on the actual content. Rising above pettyness has great benefits attached. People will admire you for staying away from negativity and being able to handle yourself through tough situations.Another great benefit from not getting invloved in dirty fights is you don’t get dirty, You’ll feel great that you avoided getting caught up in horrible mud-slinging.

So how do you rise above it all and remain the better person? Take out the person (you) from the criticism and focus on the things being criticised, be they actions, words or whatever. Seeing the positive in any criticism, and commiting to improve, thanking the critic as well as communicating with a positive attitude.

Remember to keep it classy. Class is hard to beat.

Keep reading on this medium to read the next one…..