17 Lessons for a Most Beloved Brother Turning 17

I was blessed with a beautiful baby brother on July 2nd 1996 – 17 years ago today. The second of three baby brothers, Luke has always been my affectionate little friend. I did wish that he would be a girl, but I don’t think a baby sister would have been quite as awesome as Luke.

In celebration of his 17th year, I have compiled a list of 17 lessons:Luke and Coop

  1. Always be you – you are the most loving, open, passionate and genuine young man.
  2. Make the most of the opportunities that school offers – you have to work twice as hard to find those once you leave school.
  3. Read everything that takes your fancy – you will not regret reading too much and you don’t want to get to 21 (like a certain someone) and finally find the reading love of your life (Jane Austen) and wish you had learnt the lessons contained in those books sooner.
  4. Always indulge your passions – follow your heart with your reading, your writing and your singing. Passions are integral to a life well lived.
  5. Learn about good money management now and put it into practice, always save.
  6. Be ethically friendly – always fight for justice, always be kind, be aware of sustainability and always buy free-range eggs (they are not much more expensive and you really don’t need a lecture from me about beaks, frolicking and humane treatment).
  7. Develop a habit of thankfulness – it will set you in the right mindset for wherever life takes you.
  8. Make friends indiscriminately – you will miss out on a lot of amazing people and their lessons if you stay inside the box in this one.
  9. Always give people the benefit of the doubt – you will never understand the full context of a person’s life.
  10. Smile at everyone.
  11. Laugh every day – laughing at me counts, so you’re good on this one!
  12. Design your life the way it works for you – do not follow the well-tread path, make your own, you will NOT regret working less in order to follow your passions or spend time with your precious family.
  13. Follow your nose into adventure – try everything you want, make a list!
  14. Look after your health.
  15. Keep being open-minded – you are one of the most accepting, unprejudiced people I know, never let that go.
  16. Explore your beliefs – really examine what you believe and why, be open to other’s opinions.
  17. Remember that I will always be there for you and that you will always be my best friend.

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