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By Jeff Einstein
To my daughter…
For you, my heart, my soul, I would begin with the notion that time is your most precious inventory, and that the quality of your life will ultimately reflect how and where and with whom you spend it.
The tragedy of modern life resides in the everyday Faustian exchange of time for false promises and trivial distraction. Free time is the only meaningful measure of a free society, and real freedom is always defined and defended by the option not to participate. As with knowledge and wisdom and peace, therefore, the path to freedom is subtractive, not additive.
Things to do on a daily basis…
- Whatever your religion, or lack thereof, put a higher power or something greater than yourself first. Doing so compels humility and gratitude. Humility moderates excess, imposes perspective and compels patience while gratitude is the eternal wellspring of all healing.
- Slow down. Speed kills.
- Encourage then let go of failure in yourself and others.
- Deliberately simplify your life at every opportunity.
- Seek out those things — like the dinner table and the sabbath day of rest — that emphasize human over digital scale.
That said, always…
- …be accountable to someone or something. Seek out responsibility as the key to a good and meaningful life.
- …be a good and true friend. The love you share with your friends is your purest love.
- …be respectful and kind to other people and creatures. How they treat you is up to them.
- …put “Should I?” before “Can I?”.
- …look to the future with wonderment and open arms. It’s coming anyway.
- …bring gratitude, passion and patience to every encounter. You’ll need them.
- …let the people you love know just how much you love them. Life is fragile and uncertain.
- …seek wisdom of the ages over knowledge of the moment.
- …seek moderation over excess. Excess will always steal your time and freedom.
- …seek simplicity over complexity.
- …know when to let go.
- …love your country, but be skeptical of all technology, all media and all government authority. Skepticism is your first civil obligation in a free society.
- …succumb to the media and technology-driven entreaty to think globally and act locally. It’s a cheap sales pitch wholly unworthy of you and your time. Rather, think and act locally, first.
- …base your life decisions on fear and envy. Doing so will kill your soul and can only lead to more fear and more envy.
- …take your life or the things and people in it for granted. Again, life is fragile and uncertain.
- …let anyone tell you what you cannot do. You have the power to change the world.
- …surrender your identity or sense of individual right and wrong to any group or institution. Be a good team player but know in your heart that you and you alone are accountable for your life and the decisions you make.
- …think of yourself as a victim; think of yourself as a victor.
- …debase your home, family or friends by thinking of or describing them first as financial assets.
- …that for every humble step you take, the universe takes two steps towards you.
- …that you become your attention.
- …that time is your most precious inventory.
- …that humor compels proportion and perspective.
- …that happiness is a choice you make each and every day.
- …that boredom is a reflection on you, not the world around you.
- …that all of your choices have consequences.
- …that you can’t change others. You can only change yourself.
- …that all healing begins with gratitude.
- …that the people you love want and need to see and hear it from you.
- …that you are always and forever loved.