My oldest son called me yesterday to chat. He is 19 and we share a lot of things with each other. He talks to me about things that many sons would not share with a parent. He feels that he can talk to me about anything on his heart and mind and for that I feel very fortunate. On this day he said, “mom, I’m struggling.”
I felt this to my core. Watching others struggle is not easy and it is especially hard to hear that from one of my children.
Upon hearing these words from my son, as a mother my first inclination is to help… to ease his suffering, whatever that might be. I mean, this is a tough age. He is a full time student at Louisiana Tech and is dealing with a whole new concept in online learning, which between you and me, I feel does these kids a disservice. Most of them are not disciplined enough to focus, tune in and absorb the information that an actual in-class experience would foster. He is not getting many hours at work and is realizing that limited financial resources mean that sometimes, tough choices are required. So, meaning well, I stepped in and helped him in that moment.
But maybe I should not have.
In retrospect I feel that I am keeping him from learning some very valuable life lessons.
During times of struggle is when we find out what we are made of. Failure causes us to dig in, fight, learn to adapt and battle on. Struggle and failure teach us to pick ourselves up, brush off the dirt and strengthen our resolve.
So, G, if you are reading this, take note of these very important lessons that failure will teach you:
You will not always get what you want. Sometimes even with our very best effort and our hardest work, we still will not get what we are striving for. This is a tough one. In these cases, move on, keep striving and keep your head up. Never give up.
Being right does not mean you will always win. Life is not fair and we will not win them all. Never give up.
Heart is more often more important than skill. Put your whole heart and soul into your calling and most of the time this will take you farther than someone with more skill and less passion. Never give up.
Seize opportunity. Many times opportunity knocks on your door. Do not let fear of failure keep you from taking advantage. Do not let fear of the unknown or hard work keep you from seizing those opportunities. You never know where a good opportunity might lead you. Never give up.
Never take anything for granted. Once you have achieved your goal, won your love, won your award or fixed your problem, do not fail to appreciate them. Those things are precious and they can be gone in an instant. Never give up.
My precious boy, you are so young and have so much to learn. Learning the art of overcoming struggles and learning to never give up will help you in every single area of your life… school, work, love, career, marriage and hobbies.
So as I learn to let go and let you learn these lessons, I urge you to fight through those struggles. As long as you push forward, learn from your failures and rely on God, you WILL come out on the other side.
Always know, however, that Momma is always here with open arms, open ears and an open heart cheering you on and telling you to Never Give Up.
Charlette Madden is a Mother of 2, a Louisiana Tech graduate and serves as Editor and Advertising Director for The Gazette. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org