My dear Oluwaseyitan,
You are growing into one fine young woman – your loving, thoughtful and helpful nature fills me with so much joy. However, I am deeply concerned at your eagerness to conform to please people – it reminds me of how I was when I was your age. Although there have been bumps on the road, I think I have turned out just fine. Thus, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, I write you this open letter to share some nuggets gained through the years.
1. Enjoy your childhood! I see you my darling daughter, so eager to wear make-up, you want to wear mummy’s clothes, you want to wear high heels, you want to have your hair done like mummy, you want to be all grown-up! Relax, dear child, enjoy the days of innocence and no responsibilities while you can. One day soon, you will look back and wish you had taken time to enjoy your younger days.
2. Stay true to yourself. Never change yourself to please anyone because people will always mock anyone or anything ‘different’ from the norm to mask their fear and ignorance. This point is particularly important when you get into a relationship. Do not compromise your personal values to please any man. A man who truly loves you will accept you just the way you are and will support you in becoming the best version of yourself.
3. You can become anything you set your mind to do. Never let society set limitations on how much you achieve in life. You are a strong and intelligent female. The sky is not your limit – your limit is whatever you set yourself. Let this popular saying, ‘if you can dream it, you can achieve it’, be your mantra as you walk through life.
4. Be kind, respectful and considerate. My beloved girl, as much as it is within your power, show kindness, respect and consideration in all your dealings with people. Your kindness will not always be reciprocated, but be rest assured that when you sow goodness, you will indeed reap goodness and vice versa.
5. Be content with what you have. Do not join the growing trend of materialism which has driven many young girls and ladies to living promiscuous lives just to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Be content with what you can afford – if you work hard along the lines of the point made in No. 3 above, you will be able to meet all your material needs without depending on a man for sustenance.
6. Be generous. You, my dear girl are destined for greatness. On your way to the top and on arrival there, remember to be generous to all. Be liberal in sharing your knowledge, time and material possessions with others, as much as possible. It is not only more blessed to give than to receive, there is also a deep sense of joy and fulfilment that comes from knowing that you have contributed in some way in helping others achieve their dreams.
7. Remain humble. You have the seed of greatness in you, and I have no doubts in my mind that you will achieve greatness if you apply all the points made above. When success comes, do not forget to remain humble. Remember all those who helped you on your way up, help those who are less privileged around you to attain the heights you have achieved. Always keep in mind this apt biblical saying, ‘Who says that you are any better than other people? What do you have that wasn’t given to you’? Pride goes before a fall!
8. It’s okay to make mistakes. As you grow older, you will surely make mistakes. That is perfectly okay, your mummy has made quite a few herself. However, I urge you my dear girl, learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others around you. Like Thomas Edison said, with every failure you discover another way in which something will not work. It is, therefore, foolishness to keep repeating the same mistakes. Although experience is the best teacher, it does not always have to be yours.
9. Never stop learning. Always strive to learn from anyone and everything. There is a lesson to be learnt from whatever situation you find yourself. Never look down on anyone. Be ready to learn from everyone, whether young or old – no man is the sole repository of knowledge. You learn something new every day.
10. Never lose faith. Life will throw stuff at you, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I pray that you will get mostly good out of life, but no matter what happens, do not lose faith. Never stop believing in yourself, in people and most importantly, in God.
Dear daughter, Mummy has so much love and knowledge to pass on to you and prays to have many more years to share all of these with you. If you apply the few nuggets given in this letter, you will do just fine, my girl.
With loving thoughts,