There are a few principles that I try to use to guide what I do. Sometimes I fail and do not follow these principles. Maybe “principles” isn’t even the right word – maybe I should call these aphorisms, or admonitions, or maybe just words that help me do what I think is the right thing.

Yes, an odd subject, maybe, but useful to put on record.

  1. Remember, that could be you (or: it could always get worse) As I write this, I am in a fairly advantaged position – healthy family, interesting work, and adequate income. There is no law of the universe stating that this state of affairs will remain.
  2. Children are an unadulterated good. Children do not choose to be born. And you were a child once. It is never, ever a bad thing to have children, to take care of them and help them through their trials and hardships, as someone did, or should have done, with you.
  3. That person was a baby once. This is a synthesis of (1) and (2). No matter what they are doing right now, today, that person was a baby. They cried, and wanted their mother and father, and smiled and laughed and played. Whatever state they are in today, they were born good.
  4. Time is short. As I write this (at the age of 29), my life is probably at least 30% complete, if not closer to 40%, and (tautologically) every day I have less time available to me to make my parents and my children proud. What will I do – today, tomorrow, next year – to show them that their work is worthwhile?