Listen to your parents.
The admonition is directed specifically, today, at the young men and women graduating high school and college.
In actuality the pleading could be directed at those among us fortunate to still have one or both parents in our lives, but at the moment it feels especially relevant to “the youngs.”
June traditionally marks the passage from childhood to adulthood as thousands of students commence with the rest of their lives, leaving the vigilant influence and grasp of parents as they race toward becoming their own person.
Given the last year and half and the forced, nearly 24-hour-a-day confinement parents and offspring shared, it’s no surprise kids trip over themselves as they race to get away.
Independence begets growth and self-realization.
But in that rush to become who you are be sure to listen to your parents.
It’s not a request or command to blindly and unfailingly do as they say. According to that diploma you have and the birth certificate that states you are at least 18 years old and an adult, you are free to make your own choices and experience the rewards or consequences they generate.
Hear and pay close attention to what your parents have to say so that later, you know who you are.
It may happen years from now when you clear your throat and can swear that your father is in the room, because that was the way he sounded before he made a wickedly ridiculous joke.
The sigh your mom makes now when she is enveloped in a rare moment of peace and tranquility surrounded by those who drive her mad and fill her with love may be the same sigh you catch yourself exhaling decades from now in an unguarded moment with your own family.
Your laugh may be your own but perhaps in a future recording you will hear the impression your mom or dad made as you hear a familiar pitch or tone.
Recognize “to thine own self be true” is still a valid piece of advice but realize that part of your self was formed and influenced by your parents, who were formed and influenced by those who came before them. And so on.
You’re starting down your own path now. Take comfort in knowing those who have loved you have also lived a similar journey.