Open Letter to a Young Man

Dear Young Man,

You don’t know me, but I know you. I’ve stood in your shoes as watched as the seconds ticked relentlessly by, leading ever closer to a day when I would have to stike out to make my own mark on the world. 

What if you make mess things up?

You’re going to. Make no mistakes about it. There is an endless stream of mistakes and stumbles that awaits you as you walk the path to becoming a man.  You’ll fall more times than you rise, and you’ll stumble more times than you run. But that’s alright because you’re meant to.

Each day you’re going to be faced with a choice of whether to give in to the pressures of the world or to stay true to yourself and the values that you alone know to be true. The important thing is that no matter the choice you make, you’re still able to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the man staring back at you. The footsteps in which you go forward have been laid forth by the men that have gone before you, although you’ll see there are places along the way that have yet to be traveled. 

I want you to take those unbeaten paths more often than not. To find out who you really are, you’re going to have to go places where you’ll not know the way and the path is sometimes dark and filled with twists that will leave you feeling lost. Yes, it will be frightening and make you unsure of yourself and you may end up doubting everything that you’ve ever known.

This is where you’re supposed to be. A very good friend of mine once said that a man that is always comfortable is a weak man. I more than others, know this to be true. While you may be tempted to take the easiest path where there lie no challenges or disappointments, you will find that a man that has never truly tested himself is a man that will never know who he is at the core.

I’m not asking you to do anything foolish or rash, but I am begging you to seek out the hard things, the scary things that you aren’t quite sure you can handle. The world is not going to be kind to you and yet will still demand that you can deliver results that only a strong man is able to. You’ll do it because it’s in your veins, your soul, and your very being to rise up to meet the challenges that throw themselves onto your path.

Every man will face this as he walks his path. The choices you make and the lessons you learn will be etched into the stone walls for those that will follow you tomorrow to learn from as they attempt to make their own way as you are today. 

Think about them as you go forward today and light torches along the way to help guide them as the men that have gone before you have done for you. And if you’ve seen no torches, no writing on the walls, be sure that you are the first to leave them for the others. Inside every man lie the future of all others. 

Live your life as the light at the end of the long tunnel.

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