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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Advice to a Teen

Susannah over at Get the Big Idea inspired this post. I consider her a friend, a great blogger and an inspiration. Thank you, Susannah, for all that you do and for all that you ARE.

It’s called the 10 x 10 and the scenario goes:

*You’re a woman on a bus, riding comfortably, when a young teen gets on, taking the empty seat beside you. She introduces herself & tells you where her stop is. You know that 10 minutes hence, she’ll get off & you won’t see her again. For whatever reason, you feel an urgency to impart the 10 most important things that you believe she’ll need to know, to carry her through the rest of her life. You don’t have time to plan & you don’t have time to poll your friends. When this girl gets off the bus, she’ll be gone forever. You will either have used the opportunity of 10 minutes, or you’ll have lost it.As a woman, what will you tell her? What 10 essentials can you absolutely NOT let her get off that bus without hearing? What really matters, to you, in life? *

My answer:

You don’t know me and you’ll probably think I’m a crazy lady. But I can assure you, I am not. I’m a wife and a mom and I want to give you some advice that I wish someone would’ve given me when I was your age.

I want to tell you that Respect is very important. Not just for others, but especially for yourself. For if you don’t respect yourself, you won’t think twice before doing something that could harm you or your reputation.

Be True to yourself and to others. Honesty is justice. If you are always honest you will never have to try to remember what you’ve said or the stories you’ve told.

Noble Character is determined by what you’ll do when no one is looking.

Personal Responsibility is challenging, but it builds character and that is something no one can ever take from you. Only you can destroy your character.

Forgiveness is a gift. Forgive yourself and others. Just remember that when you forgive another it doesn’t mean you have forgotten the bad deed or that you have accepted it. It just means you have forgiven them and you aren’t bitter. Bitterness will eat you alive from the inside out.

Be compassionate. Compassion expands our heart and guides us to love.

Patience truly is a virtue. Remember, sometimes it’s the anticipation of the reward rather than the reward itself.

Never stop seeking knowledge. Once your eyes and ears are closed, you become dead to everything around you.

Learn to accept yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. There is no other human like you and there never will be.

Find your purpose. Life has no meaning without a purpose.

You’ll remember my words one day, sweetling, and when you do, think about me with kindness. I wish you well. Now go and live your life to the fullest. Have fun and be safe.

My 10 X 10 may not be as spiritual as Susannah’s, but these are the truths I’ve found that have helped me throughout my life. I have spoken them to my sons. And I reiterate them here and there. I know they will make mistakes…that’s how they will learn. But I am hopeful they will remember my “nagging” or my “getting on their nerves” and it will help guide them when they need it the most.

What would be your 10 x 10? Have you ever thought of it? If not, maybe think of it now. It could change your outlook on life. And THAT could be a really good thing!

*Copied from Get the Big Idea*


  1. The women must have been a liberal, conservatives would have said something racist.

  2. Lynne: They are not only Conservatives, but devout Christians, who live by their convictions. Susannah is a great inspiration and a wonderful Lady. I'm sure her friend is the same or Susannah would not be associated with her. Because as the saying goes, You are the company you keep.

  3. Pam,

    What you have written is excellent advice for women of all ages.

    Thank you for that!

  4. Excellent. My ten would be very similar to yours. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  5. *Tears pricking the backs of my eyes*

    If it's okay, I'm emailing your post to Linda. Let her see what SHE started!

    Respect, honesty, responsibility, nobility, compassion, forgiveness, patience, self-acceptance, knowledge seeking, purpose...

    ...would that one day my daughter finds a boy whose mother is a lady like you.

    You're a treasure, my friend Pamela. I am honored & humbled to be associated with such a strong, convicted woman.

  6. nice ones, Pam...I didn't think Susannah's could be added to. You did it.

    Makes me want to sit down and write my own...maybe I will

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I know without a doubt I couldn't do any better than Susanna did. That is an excellent post!

  9. With ALL due respect Pam, I like your previous posts better.

  10. I am not even going to try answering this one because it would be a carbon copy of you and Susannah's put together. :-)

    Great post! The two below really are my favorites.

    "Noble Character is determined by what you’ll do when no one is looking.

    Personal Responsibility is challenging, but it builds character and that is something no one can ever take from you. Only you can destroy your character."

  11. I wouldn't know where to begin but it's a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Now, Ladies, could we possibly come up with advice for teen males?

    It seems that as a species men are so underappreciated!

    On second thought, as I look around, that underappreciation might be well deserved...

    I used to give advice to young people but then I found that apparently I wasn't speaking a language they understood...

    I have found that the hardest one for young men to understand was that with every benefit in life comes a price and if you are not willing to pay the price then do not desire the benefit...

  14. I completely agree. Wonderful advice.

  15. And by "LYNNE" Right is Right means, not Lynne.

  16. "Learn to accept yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. There is no other human like you and there never will be."

    That is so true for teens in todays world, where everything and too many are so superficial.

    One thing i'd add is that whilst externally we are what we are, on the inside we must always strive to be better. I haven't been in this world for a long time, but i do know one thing, it's still a long list of things i need to do to please the Lord.


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