If I were to choose only six traits to instill in my son, it would be these:
HUMILITY. SELFLESSNESS. WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. RESILIENCE. DISCIPLINE. FAITH AND LOVE.
Knowing that we are “nothing” in this world helps us be more empathetic with others. But the most important thing that humility brings is that DESPITE ONE’S STRENGTH (ie. successes, money in the bank, achievements in life etc.), one would know that in the end, HE CANNOT DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GOD.
Believing in the power of God and allowing ourselves to succumb to His glory will get people through any form of difficulty in life.
Because in reality, I want my son to realize that the world is not perfect but we can rise above it perfectly with God’s perfect love and guidance.
Bonus feeling that comes with humility is happiness. “I got nothing to lose but more to gain” attitude.
The worst trait anyone could have is selfishness. Learned this first hand. The moment we become selfish, we become proud. And the higher we get, the more we realize our own destruction. Selflessness on the otherhand allows us room for improvement. Everyday we learn not just from ourselves but also from other people. Selflessness doesn’t mean undermining one’s self. But it means we do not exist in this world for ONLY ourselves. We have a community to take care of. We think about world-wide success and not just our own interests. We get involved. We reach out. We care.
3. WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge involves learning facts and ideas from school, from books, the internet and the people around us. It is hard based evidence that includes maybe trivia, science, technology, technicalities, math and all its branches. We need to KNOW how things go and (as much as possible, though of course, we have to be kind to ourselves) we have that responsibility to not get lost in any topic simply because we did not read up much on it.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is one’s discernment that influences his choice for the right thing – especially when faced with difficult situations. It’s when reason ends, and we are left grasping for the right answers. It could be tricky. Where do we find wisdom? From your own experiences and from others’ of course. Also in the book of Proverbs.
Of course, mistakes will be inevitable as we are only human. But I want my son to learn that mistakes don’t mean the end. It only is a stepping stone for more knowledge and wisdom. Mistakes, no matter how big and small, can be completely turned around if you are resilient enough to return to the good path and get the great life God has promised us back.
I want my child to learn that the quest for knowledge MAY NOT BE EASY. The path to righteousness does not always involve rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, it’s a difficult and a sad path. It will entail sacrifice. But because you trust in God, you are resilient, and you believe that things will be better, you will learn to endure the now. Use wisdom to discipline yourself. NOT ALL FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS ARE TRUE OR RIGHT AT THE MOMENT. Control yourself.
6. FAITH AND LOVE.
I combined these two because love carries faith with it. If you truly love someone, you are faithful in that love. But should you make a mistake, be wise, be resilient, have the humility to accept wrong, and the discipline to walk the right way again.