Twain"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
— Mark Twain

Kids grow up faster these days. With you at 13, I am already at my most ignorant.

I remember when my father was a dope. 
I was expert at finding gaps in much of what he said. He was not always impressed with this talent. I could imagine becoming a great lawyer, shooting holes in the opposition. 

Even if he was impressed, he also shut down.
When someone seemed intent on shooting holes in anyone's side of a conversations, my father just stop trying. He wasn't interested in walking into the line of unrelenting fire. He enjoyed debate, but as soon as someone seems motivated on contradiction, rather than clarification, he was finished. 

My Motivation
If Mark Twain's right, someday I might astonish you with what I've learned. 

If you are like me, it might be a long wait. (I was nearly 50 when I started truly trying to listen to others. I'm hoping you are an earlier learner.)

But I don't long to astonish you. That is not my goal. Neither is your respect, though I ask for it. Think of me however you wish. 

What is my goal?
I want to share what I have experienced and learned along the way. 

What could I possibly know? I am not an expert on everything. I'm not completely expert on anything. But I have lived 50 years. And my experiences have taught me something.

Why do I want to share my experiences and insights? Not to change you. Not to prove me right and you wrong. 

And — definitely — not to argue with you. I most of all don't want to argue. Argument makes everyone breathless with too little accomplished. 

I want to share what I know to make your journey a little easier.

Perhaps, a la Twain, this will wait until you are 21.

Twain must have rejected his father for those seven years. Surely, he sought his teachers elsewhere. And, Twain didn't turn out so bad. 

A Partial List of Ready Conversations
Whenever you want to talk about these things, I'd be glad to share what we have each learned on these topics: 

  1. Childhood and adulthood. How people become adult. Id-ego-superego.
  2. Learning. Seeking first to understand, then to be understood. 
  3. Choosing teachers. Everyone is a teacher. "Teachers are where you seek them." 
  4. What wealth is. The inconsistent connection between happiness and money. 
  5. True courage. Live and let live. Processing anger. Eliminating annoyance.
  6. What the world owes us. What we owe ourselves. What we owe the world.
  7. The difference between pleasure and engagement. This is about Flow, the psychology of optimal experience.
  8. How to please a woman. Though I have eventually failed with all women, save one — your mother (thus far) — I have learned what not to do and would be glad to share that (without names).  

There are more. You can add to this list. 

Whenever you want to talk about any of these, or anything else that might help you benefit from my experiences, I'm here for you. Anytime of the day or night. Feel free to wake me up from sleep or work.

I'm here for you.
Not forever, of course. Let's stick to basic plan: you will outlive me. For now, however, at 50, I'm eating right, taking walks, and soon getting a colonoscopy — to be around when you are 21. 

I'll try to learn a lot during the next seven years.   

I love you.