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A heartfelt future letter to my son about the ways of the world

Hello there! Thank you for the overwhelming response to my previous article on the future letter to my daughter. Many of you asked me for a similar letter for my son as well. This is equally important and also a lot different. So here goes!

"Hello, my dear son. This is a long letter to you to familiarise you with the intricacies and challenges of life. There will be a lot of mention of women here, I ask for pardon in advance for that. You will soon know why! Let's begin.

Ignore comparisons

You will be compared by the world at every step of the way. X got more marks, Y got a great job, Z found a beautiful wife, and alpha/beta/gamma earns extremely well. Don't bother. Seriously, just don't. This world is built to make an individual feel guilty at every step of the way, especially men, for these particular reasons. I don't mean to say ignore all your responsibilities, please do well in whatever you do, but do not let others' judgement get to you or make you feel inferior in any way. Everyone is different and has unique abilities. It is not necessary you're good at what someone else is good at, or vice versa. You and your own sister are miles apart from each other! Then how can you be like someone else? Just be yourself and you'll be fine.

Be independent

Yes, be independent. It does not just mean earning money and living on your own (you will have to, of course ;)). I mean learn to live on your own - cook yourself, clean your space, and organise your stuff. These are basic skills to live like a human and please do not ignore these. Gone are the days when only women used to do it all. Now women go out to work as well and even otherwise, I think men living in the house must contribute equally to the workload, other than paying the bills. This truly makes you a man and not shirking housework and ordering around. (Ek chai bana do, mera shirt iron kar do, mere kapde dho lo - meaning make me tea, iron my shirt and wash my clothes - No, no, and a big no!)

If at all you are expecting these things from your partner, please learn to do them yourself as well and share the load and do it in turns. Please!

Why are women complicated?

This calls for a book, but I will try to tell you simply - men have made it too complicated. All women want is that you to talk to them nicely, care for them and make them feel wanted and important. I know most men will find it difficult, annoying, and what not, but trust me, it is not that tough and very important. Look, women go through periods, they experience pain in sex, pregnancy changes, childbirth, motherhood, menopause, and so on. While you can never experience these, it is important to be empathetic towards them for the same. Read about it all and you'll know none of it is easy!

Be aware of how women feel around you. Never disrespect them or talk to them in a raised voice. Learn to take a NO. It is not insulting if someone does not think about you the same way as you think about them. It is fine. You simply must respect others' decisions, especially women. Do not let other men around you disrespect women or force anything on them. If you disagree with something, point it out, and talk logically, but be NICE. As simple as that!

I am insisting on this because our society is built in a patriarchal manner. Women have been suffering for generations. There have been good men too, but not enough, and I would definitely not want you to be one of those who suppress women. Observe women closely, you will know why they behave in a certain way. Most of them have been dealing with bad behaviours in the past and eventually, they turn out a certain way to cope with their situation. While you cannot change their past or behaviour, you can still be good to them. That is really the only thing women expect!

Take breaks

There will always be responsibilities. No matter what. Whenever you want to take a break, do not think, Where is the time? You have to make time for important things in life. Make time for family - parents, siblings, wife, and children. Time will fly and you will realize that when you finally make time, the people won't be around. So make the best of today. Have your priorities in place. The corporate culture is making it difficult to have personal space and time, but these are non-negotiable things, and never give up on these for work. It has become a fad to work constantly, hustle, earn more and more and spend more. But it does not mean it is the right thing.

Money is not everything

Yes, we always say money is not everything, but it is important. How much money is enough money? - nobody can decide. A poor man will be extremely happy with thousand rupees a day, while a rich man may find ten lakh rupees income per day to be too less. Happiness is subjective and cannot always be measured with money. Don't bother who is earning how much, as long as what you earn is enough for you to survive, and remember to differentiate between needs and wants. This mantra is enough for you to survive in the world. Living a lavish, extravagant life does not necessarily make one happy. People find happiness in cooking, walking their dogs, writing, or making coffee. Choose what you like and please steer clear of the brands and marketing gimmicks which always aim to make you feel inadequate and incomplete without a certain thing. Remember it is their business, and you need to remember yours. If you have a Maruti, not a Mercedes, it does not make a difference, really. The commuting facility is available, that should suffice. Never let anyone or anything make you feel that you are inferior because of the things you own!

Always Dream - and fulfil your dreams

I am saying this now because as you get busy adulting, you forget or give up on your dreams. Never kill your inner child and continue to dream and try to turn those dreams into reality. Make a note of it somewhere, and write a letter to yourself each year to read it next year. You will realize how far you have come. Your dreams keep you alive. Don't forget where you started from and where you want to go. Be humble always, no matter what you achieve. There is something to learn from everyone.

This is all for now. I will probably add more things to this list, but at a later date :)

Hope you find life a tad easier with the help of these ideals! Love you lots!"

PS: Tell me in your comments what you would like to add to this list.


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