Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My dear nephew,

Your mother came for a visit the other day but she brought with her not the usual delicious apple pie that I love so much – she’s a great cook, something I can’t say of myself - but a heart weighed down with tears. It always breaks my heart to see your mother cry-- and this time broken twice because her own beloved son is the reason for her tears. You caused those tears, if I may put it bluntly. No, she didn’t ask me to kick your butt because I would if I could. I guess all she needed was to release the feelings that made her so sad and unhappy.

Now before you thrash this letter to the garbage bin, as you always are wont to do with any form of advice, sit down and read this through to the end. That’s an order, young man!

Right now, admit it or not, you’re up against a wall. You thought you had it so good but the way things look now, you’ve got nothing to show for your efforts. But you’re a bright young man and your parents gave you the best education they could afford. But then life is not all about education – it’s more about choices. We all make choices each day from the morning we rise up and pick up the familiar brand of toothpaste and toothbrush we chose from among the many brands on the grocery shelf—down to the way we want our sheets placed on the bed at night. The same choices are translated unto our workplace, careers, relationships, dreams and ambitions.

You have chosen the path of least resistance in pursuing your dreams. Apparently it got you nowhere. Now don’t point the finger on anyone or on any circumstance or on any convenient excuse you may have in your head. You see, I believe that a person from birth is equipped by a wise God with a coping mechanism which enables him to face and fight any problem, drawback, hurdle, obstacle, or adversary. Yes indeed, this simply lies still inside waiting for the proper moment to unleash its energy and power. But it only comes alive when you give the right ‘command’. But which you did not, instead you ‘chose’ to travel the boulevard to your dreams instead of the inconvenient unattractive beaten path. But didn’t you know that the beaten path feeds this coping mechanism? It thrives on such environment.

My mother (your grandaunt) always reminded me every time I felt like giving up the fight—“A path of ease gets you nothing”. What she meant was that there is no prize waiting at its end to be won or claimed --neither will you get to experience the satisfaction of putting in your own blood, sweat, and tears –the mark of hard work- to claim achievement-- nor will you experience sleepless nights pouring over solutions, plans, and strategies. That surely churns up creative juices out to the surface. The path of least resistance provides you no such opportunity...none at all. Words such as--determination, resourcefulness, perseverance, resolve, patience, endurance, hard work-- are words alien to your mind and senses. Did I see and hear you once scoff at people who do, even labeled them as fools?

Think again. Where your efforts down the easy road have lead you nowhere in terms of true happiness, genuine satisfaction and achievement (as you are now)---- others who chose the beaten path you rejected have gathered the much coveted prize usually attached to great noble efforts and tasks. They succeeded where you have failed. You see, good things often come in poorly wrapped packages, and failure --- disguised in attractive wraps.

So you are beaten…BUT not yet down and out! If this letter doesn’t jog you to your senses, I may yet have to kick your butt. J C’mon, you’re a smart kid. A dead-end doesn’t have to mean it’s finished, it just means that you take a few steps back – rethink your strategies, create new plans if necessary, energize, and this time make the right choice and decision. Do not be afraid of difficulties—those things aren’t there to defeat us but rather they are there to prod us on to try even harder, work harder, persevere again and again. There is no easy way to one’s dreams. There never is. And if that dream is worth having, certainly you will want to work hard for it.

While you’re at it, slip in a moment to go to your mom—give her a tight hug and tell her that things will be alright from now on. And--- I’d like to see that sumptuous splendid fabulous APPLE PIE on my table tomorrow night!

Aunt Ellen

posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 11:05 AM

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