LETTER TO MY DARLING SON
Dy Dr David Luu, cardiac surgeon, healthcare entrepreneur, and philanthropist on a mission to democratize health.
Originally published at https://www.drdavidluu.com/posts/letter-to-my-darling-son on 6 May, 2020.
My Darling Son,
When you were born, I never could have imagined that five years later we would be living such a historical and unprecedented crisis like COVID-19. As I watch you play alone in our living room, distanced from your friends and family, (other than your mother and I), I feel the need to write to you this letter so that, as you grow, you remember these seven universal laws that will help you live a happy, healthy and peaceful life.
First and foremost, always remember that your health is your most valuable asset. Beyond riches and material belongings, your health is your true wealth. Protect it at all costs and whilst many will try to tempt you away from reasonable choices by encouraging you to smoke, eat junk food, laze in front of the TV and so on, you must be resilient and do the best you can to make the healthy choices instead. It is all up to you: you can achieve whatever you set your mind too. In that respect your mental health is just as precious as your physical one. Aspire to develop the right mindset when faced with difficulties…train your brain to adapt, to anticipate, to resist fear and temptation. Of course, I will help you along the way, the best I can. Healthy living is long term and whilst the rewards may not be as immediate as material gifts, the life long benefits are undeniable. You were lucky to be born healthy, do not squander this chance and fight to protect it.
My son, the second universal law I want you to learn is to seek knowledge and teach. The world is your oyster…learn everything you can on life around you, on the planet you live on, on nature, on animals, on humans, on different cultures and environments. Everyone you meet is an opportunity to learn from. Ask them questions even if they think you are too curious…ask them those 1000 questions that will make you richer through their answers. Be careful however, learning from others is important but listen carefully and cross-check the knowledge they share. Unfortunately, my son, all that is shared is not true, you will learn this, and I hope you will learn to fact check what you are taught to therefore know how to separate the facts from the nonsense. But learning for the sake of learning will only bring you short term happiness and is rooted in selfishness. Learn to share and teach others, teach those you love, those who don’t know. There are those who learn from school and those who learn from experience, both are just as important, but sharing is happiness. Learn from one and teach them the other.
My darling, progress comes from innovation and creation. Build things, welcome ideas…tons of ideas… nurture them, let them blossom but also let them collapse if needs be and sometimes even break them. Dissecting broken ideas will help you create more. Success comes from understanding one’s failures and having the courage, resilience and determination to try again. Beyond good health, I truly wish for you that you have thousands of ideas because it is them that will feed your imagination and curiosity beyond knowledge. Create for yourself, create for others. Do not listen to me when I will tell you to be cautious. Try, try, try, always.
You were born in a happy, healthy and wealthy family. Look around you, it isn’t the case worldwide. Many are vulnerable and not as fortunate as you. Help others, care for them and show them compassion. Love others and others will love you. Have faith in humanity. Mankind is difficult to love but is worth loving. You will be tempted to play the politics to achieve your goals but stay true to yourself and your values.
I will do what I can my love to give you roots and wings and to protect you from the hardships of life, but life, inevitably, is wrought with difficulties. Be brave and show leadership. Be a model for your family, for your friends for your colleagues and for society. Courage sometimes requires to make tough decisions, try to be kind in making them.
The world we live in is our home. Respect nature like you respect your own house. The more you take care of the environment, the longer it will offer you its riches. Consume only what you need, do not waste natural resources. Food security will increasingly become an issue as your grow up…remember the beginning of this letter, make the healthy choices and help others do the same.
I realize this letter can be daunting…these laws are hard to follow especially in the challenging world we live in today…but I believe in you. Believe in yourself my son and others will too. Follow your gut feeling and your intuition, always do what you think is right and fair. This one is from your grandfather and this is the last one. If you are true to these laws, your intuition will serve you right and you will be equipped to face the difficulties that life will throw at you and enjoy the many beautiful and extraordinary moments that it will gift you.
I love you my son and I wish you a joyful and meaningful life. Take care, stay safe and read my letter often.
There are many great sources of advice for governments and healthcare systems and the people who work in them, particularly the World Health Organization website. This is the trusted source for clinical information.