The Things I Couldn’t Teach You

(An open letter to my former students)

When you were my students, I taught you how to use a comma, how to develop an argument, how to analyze literature.  I taught you how to cite your sources, how to recognize logical fallacies, how to converse knowledgeably, how to identify anaphora, tetracolon, asyndeton.

But there were things I couldn’t teach you. Things that were not part of the core curriculum. Things I’ve learned about life and love.

Not until you have begun to develop your true self, the self stripped of peer influence and false impressions and solipsism*, can you expect to experience high-definition love.

We use the term high definition to describe a level of resolution and clarity that is substantially higher than the standard. There is love like this.

Relationships you have before this are trials; preliminary tests intended to teach you how to be you in the presence of others.  People might tell you that this isn’t love. That “you don’t know what love is”.

But to an infant, milk is food.

To a teen, babysitting is a job.

To you, now, it might be love. It is, at least, an early version.

In any case, I cannot give you the answers. Only my perspective.

 For my girls

Know that you can catch a man’s primal attention by flirting, twerking, or even playing hard-to-get.  But this is no accomplishment. It requires no substance to be bait. You are not bait.

Making it your mission to catch a man (or a girl) derails you from your true mission: to become a woman of substance.  Instead of devoting your time and energy to the game of cat and mouse, focus on exploring your passion and purpose. Live, give, learn, share, travel. Listen to the wise ones around you.

How can you pursue another person before you have studied and learned yourself?

Let yourself blossom.  Only then will high definition love come to you.  And even if it doesn’t, so what! Look at what you have!

For my boys

You are not a man because you have the parts, the car or the clothes. You are a man when you know without doubt or denial that these things are irrelevant. Side effects, at best.

Real swag comes from accomplishments.  Seek out your purpose and pursue it as one with blinders on.

Money will come to you.  You don’t have to chase the big break. Chase instead the knowledge of self and values that will ultimately power your mission.  Once you have devoted your time and energy to building a life for yourself, there will be something worth sharing with someone else. A partner.  Otherwise, how are you going to share what you don’t have?

My former students, my greatest hope for you is this… that you dedicate this time in your lives to the pursuit of greatness.

No matter where you are right now, I’m here believing in you.



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