Sunday, January 22, 2012

Things (not) to worry about

For some men, being a father to daughters is quite a burden. Some never quite seem to find their feet, insisting on remaining blind to the fact that one day their little girls will become women. Which they will. But I recently read this section of a letter from F.Scott Fitzgerald to his 11 year-old daughter, which suggests a father who is confident, open-minded and loving, willing his daughter to embrace the world and the life that is waiting for her. Clearly, he's still not entirely stoked about the potential 'boys' bit of all that, but otherwise, I think he seems pretty good about it all.


Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,

Daddy

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