2. Letter to my Grandson/Granddaugther

Today you became fourteen. I am happy to see how well you are growing in the three critical areas that make you who you are and that I have tried to capture in the picture below.

Through the years I have tried to share with you some of the more important lessons that I have learned in these three areas.

Keep exercising your body with sports of your liking so that you have fun, grow healthy and develop good habits for the rest of your life. If you continue doing team sports, remember that the best player is the one who help everyone to be better, so that the team does as well as it can. There is no shame in losing when you have tried your best. But remember that we can always learn by analyzing objectively our defeats, not to blame anyone, but to determine what we need to improve; effectively addressing our weaknesses we can always do better. Some teams will play dirty and make us angry, but believe me, there is never justification to react doing the same, invariably those who act in that way are always losers.

You are doing very well in school. Keep always in mind that knowledge makes us wiser, and that the teacher facilitates our learning, but he doesn’t study for us, so it is always up to us to put the time and effort needed to educate ourselves. Remember never to compare yourself with others, rather, analyze with all honesty, if you prepared yourself as well as you could. If so, great, otherwise there is room for improvement. Is that easy… and that difficult!  Keep an eye on what it is that you like and genuinely enjoy doing in your studies, these observations will help you decide what career you should have in the future. We spend most of our time working, so if we are doing something we love, we enjoy our life more and become better at what we do. Any honest profession is good, but if it involves caring for the body, the mind, or the soul of others, it tends to be more rewarding. Remember always that money will not make you happy. Rather, happiness is the result of being faithful to the values that you have chosen to guide you in your life, to be thankful for everything that you are receiving, and to trust God.

Finally, what can we do to grow spiritually? Initially we should learn the principles that we are taught at home, in church, in school, and that we get from reading good books like the Gospels. Every decision in our life must be taken using the values that we are developing based on those principles, and if we are faithful to them our reward will be to get to the kingdom of God when we depart. So, how do to strengthen our soul? To go to mass and have communion every holiday and to say a prayer every night is good, but to me the essence for developing our spiritual life consists of creating and maintaining a continuous personal relationship with our Lord. Talk to Jesus regularly, like we do it with our best friend. Share with Him your happiness and your sadness, your successes, and your failures, ask Him the strength and enlightenment to always do the best you can with the talents that you have received, that He give you serenity, commitment, and confidence to face your doubts, failures, and disillusions, that He forgive your errors and help you to correct them. Remember and trust always that God’s love and misericord are infinite. The blessed Vladimir Thika masterfully expresses our ideal behavior when he says:     

If you place God in everything you do, you will find Him in everything that happens.”

Always remember that only you are responsible for the direction that the ship of your life is taking, and that will take you to God.

Lastly, although times have changed a lot since I was growing up, you are a person, not better nor worse than anybody else; don’t let anybody tell you that women or minorities are less than others! Only small-minded people think that way.

Por Antonio R Quesada

A esta altura de mi vida reconozco que lo que creo saber es ínfimo comparado con lo que desconozco. Usando mis experiencias, trato de profundizar en algunas ideas espirituales básicas que comparto con toda humildad a fin de animar a otros a que hagan lo mismo. Agradezco de antemano cualquier sugerencia o corrección que reciba. ________________________________________________________________________________ At this time of my life, I acknowledge that what I think I know, is minimal compared to what I don’t know. Using my experiences, I try to deepen on some basic spiritual ideas that I share with all humility, with the purpose of encouraging others to do the same. I thank you in advance for any suggestions or corrections that I receive. ________________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Antonio R. Quesada, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The University of Akron. Ohio Teaching Fellow. Director of Project AMP. T^3 International Emeritus Professor.

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