I was asked by a friend to give advice on what to do, or give my opinion about what to do, for the future for a twenty-something year old who is unemployed, about to become a father, and is currently separated from his girlfriend. A tall order I must say, but I gave it my best. So I dug deep into my life, and gave him a list of my pearls of wisdom of what I think he ought to do.
My first words of wisdom, taken from the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (1978), are “Don’t’ Panic.” Whenever the whole world seems like it cannot get any worse, it usually means it can. But fear not, let the world take its course, and go with the flow. If you fight the current, it will beat you down, so relax, and take it day by day. Keep a level head, and always focus on what matters, not the meaningless noise around you.
Think twice before you say anything to those around you, referencing the time you told your girlfriend that she has “good birthing hips” when you found out that she was pregnant. Words that she does not ever want said! You are now tied to her, through thick or thin, whether you like her now, or not, you are soon to be a father and you are tied by blood to her. DO everything you can to save this bond–think of the child, and the family you are about to have. Sure, she seems only focused on money, and this is natural, as her whole world is about to change too in a big way. Be with her, and say the right words.
You set the expectations, not your parents, not your best friends, and not some market analysis from some government agency run by the Harper Administration. Remember that they did not have to start out in the middle of an economic disaster where one in five, twenty year olds, are unemployed. You may never own a house in Canada as good paying jobs are scarce, and property values are way beyond a young couple’s reach; but wait, soon all of this will start to crash, and when that happens, then you will have your chance to leave your mark. Be patient–your time will come!
When someone offers you a hand–take it. Do not be a fool and refuse those offerings. Of course always check to see if there are strings attached, or read the fine print if there are kickbacks and hidden promises, but in most cases people are genuine when helping out others who are on the right path.
Save, and spend wisely. If you have to borrow to buy it, then you cannot afford it. The greatest parasites of our times are money lenders, and they will target you–hard. Everyone will want your money. Keep it safe, and sometimes the average Bank is not the best place to keep it. In this day and age, your value is measured by your credit rating, so do not become a victim to it. With the exception to a mortgage, paying cash for your daily needs is the best policy to have. Keeping yourself away from the pit of debt, means that you can focus on growing, and building your capital without huge interests rates and other encumbrances.
Stay away from the drugs and alcohol! You do not need them, and wasting your hard earned money on crap like that is just stupid. Enjoy your life–like in a non-distorted state, as opposed to a man in a drunk’n’ stopper who thinks irrationally. A young life will soon depend on you, and will soon look up to you as a father–be the man you want to be–not masked in drugs, trying to hide from yourself.
Lastly, enjoy the special moments you will have with your family. Those are the best kinds. Be there for them, and treasure each one as if it were to be the last. You will never have this opportunity again, so make it work. No one ever said that life was easy, and if it were, then something is terribly wrong (like the drugs kicked in, or something like that).
There you go, my words of wisdom. I posted them here on the web so that you can come back and read them as often as you like. And if your P.C. crashes and loses all of its files, then you can keep coming back here and copy them again, and again. The world does not know who you are, as this is only between you and me, but perhaps someone else who reads this too maybe inspired and takes these words to heart; that would be nice. I hope this helps.