Son, in the tradition of my people. I want to speak to you frankly and plainly. If you don’t understand everything I say now, don’t worry, someday you will. Just don’t forget them.
First of all, never let your emotions get in the way of your assignment. In other words, don't let the small things stop you from doing the big things. In other words, always let the main thing be the main thing. You see, one day, we’ll all stand before God and he will ask us what we did with the assignment he gave each of us. When that day comes, it will not be cool to point fingers. It won’t be okay to say your sister kicked you, your brother tricked you, your father dissed you or someone stole your pencil or innocence. Those are excuses. Excuses aren’t necessarily lies but they’re distractions; and no matter how valid they are, only a failure holds on to them. Excuses sometimes come as love at first sight, easy money, hot sex, promise of significance, more respect, a short cut to a long dream, a chance to get even or just one more of whatever is not good for you. Never make excuses when you fail. Never stay where you fail. You have an assignment to fulfil.
Son, those who really love you, love you. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody! Success brings attention but not necessarily love. Anytime you have to earn love, it is no longer love. It is very easy to think things can bring one love but like food that attracts flies, when the food is gone, the flies leave too. This is why God will allow you to fall sick, get broke or even fail at certain moments in your life. Relax and take a deep breath when those bad days come because they will be some of the most precious days of your life. It is in those moments of loss and despair that true love and friendships are found. Fire burns chaff but purifies gold.
Before I forget: I know I tell you to be careful with strangers. Yes, I won’t change that but even more importantly, be careful with those you think you know because sometimes, even they don’t know themselves.
Boy, you got my good looks and intelligence. Women like that; but never forget that a woman’s breast is not her heart and what she takes from you might be far far more expensive than what she offers. And when you finally meet the right woman, Son, love her deeply. Love her deeply not because of who she is or what she does but because of who you are. You are unforgettable and passionate and kind; and good women don’t tend to walk away from that; but if she does, let her remember you as the best man she ever met. Let her remember you for being creative in love, attentive in discourse, generous in affection, strong in character, a miser with anger, positive in outlook, fearsome in war, fair in conduct and merciful in judgment.
Know you'll never get a job you are too good for; and the harder you work, the luckier you will get. Enjoy your life but don’t forget you are not what you wear, what you earn, where you sleep, where you work or who your friends are.
Son, I know that again, I have given you a long list of to dos. Well, truth is, you don’t have to do any of them to prove that you are my son or that you are a good person. You have nothing to prove. You are your father’s son and nothing can ever change that. If I encourage you to do these things, it is because of who I know you are, not because of what I want you to be.
You are my son, and I will always love you.