Ever since I had my boys, I’ve tried my best to raise them to embody the qualities I feel will most contribute to them having a good life, to becoming good men.
I want them to accept others, and accept themselves. To be themselves regardless of what others think, and allow others to do the same.
To grow into kind men, who respect others, who respect women, and who respect themselves.
It isn’t always easy, but I’m trying.
And then I had my daughter.
She’s begun to look at me the way babies do, with love and adoration and pure dependence.
And it hit me – I will be the most influential role model in her life, as all mothers are to their daughters. It’s not enough to simply teach our children, we have to live the life we want for them – or at least try to.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Around the Block. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
It’s up to me to show my children, not just tell them, how to live a good life, a positive life, the best life possible.
Although actually living these lessons is even more difficult than trying to teach them. Here are the five simple life rules I hope myself – and my children – can learn to live by.
1. Have compassion but also conviction:
Having compassion is crucial for a healthy soul and a happy heart. It’s vitally important to have empathy, to put yourself in another person’s shoes, to avoid placing judgment.
At the same time, compassion shouldn’t be confused with capitulation or with support for a behaviour you don’t condone.
Have conviction in your beliefs, your opinions and your view of what’s right and what’s wrong. And don’t allow your compassion to be taken advantage of.
Sometimes compassion can weaken our conviction, and vise versa – but it is possible to have both.
2. Stay true to your values:
Figuring out what our values actually are can be confusing. Especially in a society where so many different views, opinions, beliefs and attitudes are thrown in front of our faces on a regular basis, thanks to technology and social media.
Most of us experience pressure to change our values – either directly or indirectly – by our peers, our friends, our colleagues or our loved ones.
And we can end up questioning our values, making allowances or convincing ourselves of something different.
At the end of the day though, most of us know deep down what our true values are – it’s an instinctual feeling, an intrinsic belief.