To Cameron Charles Yar­brough: Have fun and give life your best

The Covington News - - OPINION - You can reach Dick Yar­brough at yarb2400@ bell­south.net or P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ga. 31139.

Dear Cameron:

You have been in this world for a tad over five years. I think you would agree it has been a pretty good ride to this point. A lot of peo­ple love you and care deeply about you. When you are older, you will un­der­stand just how for­tu­nate you are.

You have brought a lot to the party your­self. When you showed up at my door at Christ­mas with a plate of cook­ies you had baked for me af­ter hav­ing viewed a gro­cery com­mer­cial that fea­tured a lit­tle girl mak­ing cook­ies for her grand­fa­ther, you gave me the great­est gift I have re­ceived since you first ar­rived on the planet. I don’t be­lieve you did that be­cause you thought you would get some­thing in re­turn. I be­lieve you did it be­cause you love me. Here you are, younger than most of my dress shirts and you have al­ready fig­ured out the power of love. May I never for­get what you have taught me that day.

I wish life could stay this sim­ple for you but, alas, it doesn’t work that way. As you get older, you will find your­self in a world where peo­ple don’t have the same value sys­tem as has been in­stilled in you. There will be a lot of peer pres­sure for you to change and to be like them. Go along and get along. Don’t do it. Be brave enough to be your­self but don’t act like you are su­pe­rior to oth­ers. Let your con­fi­dence show through qui­etly.

Ad­mit­tedly, I am bi­ased but I see enor­mous po­ten­tial in you. How close you come to reach­ing that po­ten­tial is strictly up to you. No one can achieve your dreams for you. Only you can do that. You can be any­thing you choose to be. Pres­i­dents of the United States don’t just fall out of the sky. Nei­ther do sci­en­tists, artists, in­ven­tors or ath­letes. Suc­cess­ful peo­ple got where they are be­cause they re­fused to get dis­cour­aged when things got tough. And things will get tough. That is just how life is. It knocks a lot of peo­ple down who don’t get up. .

Read ev­ery­thing you can get your hands on about suc­cess­ful peo­ple. You will dis­cover they had some luck along the way, but it seems the harder they worked, the luck­ier they got. Let their sto­ries in­spire you to great­ness.

What­ever you do: Aim high. To me, the sad­dest souls are those who weren’t will­ing to take chances or run risks; who wor­ried about what other peo­ple might think of them and their dreams; who didn’t have the courage to get into the arena and fight for what they be­lieved in, or were just too lazy to make the ef­fort. As a re­sult, they are doomed to spend the rest of their lives won­der­ing “what if” or “what I could have been” and den­i­grat­ing the suc­cess of oth­ers. I would suf­fo­cate in that kind of en­vi­ron­ment. I hope you will feel the same way.

Lest I give you the im­pres­sion that suc­cess is about fame and power and run­ning roughshod over peo­ple to reach your goals, let me has­ten to add that noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Suc­cess is do­ing some­thing worth­while, do­ing it to the best of your abil­i­ties, be­ing happy as you do it and mak­ing this a bet­ter world be­cause you were here.

Never, ever set­tle for less than the best from your­self, whether it be school work (es­pe­cially school work!), play­ing sports, keep­ing your room clean, be­ing a good son and grand­son, or solv­ing a puz­zle. Never ra­tio­nal­ize poor ef­fort.

Re­mem­ber that each day is a pre­cious gift. Make ev­ery minute count. There are no guar­an­tees you will get a doover tomorrow. De­velop a deep faith in God.

Be the kind of per­son ev­ery­one wants as their friend. Have a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and don’t be a whiner. No­body likes a whiner. And don’t be boast­ful. No­body likes a brag­gart, ei­ther.

I wish I could be around long enough to see how you turn out, but my race is al­most run. I have ev­ery con­fi­dence that you will do fine. I just hope you have as much fun in your life as I have had in mine. I didn’t al­ways get it right, but I gave it my best shot. Happy New Year and, again, thanks for the cook­ies.

Love, PA

DICK YAR­BROUGH COLUM­NIST

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