At 16, my son has to be the coolest kid in the world. He follows no one, does his own thing and believes in his own ability to accomplish his goals. He’s not interested in alcohol or drugs which, at sixteen, and especially in this day and age, is amazingly cool.
He’s not fixated on sex. He has a good understanding of what makes a truly good person and he knows bullshit when he hears it, which, sadly, is quite often. But he doesn’t take shit from anyone and is happy to point out to others the shortcomings in their thinking. He’s a good listener and is good about taking in the “facts” and weighing them against logic, reality, and experience; a rarity these days.
He loves to surf and does it for all the right reasons; because it’s healthy, a spiritual experience, and it connects him to the universe in a way nothing else can. He doesn’t talk about his supposed conquests in the water but instead feels enriched and enlivened deep down in his soul. He has no need to brag or prove himself. He just loves the ocean and he knows there’s little that words can accomplish in relating this to others.
He takes nothing at face value and knows that the arbitrary labels, titles, and manufactured images we assign to ourselves and others are meaningless. He knows that people are never what they appear to be or want us to believe they are. He knows they are not what and who they think they are and it doesn’t take him long to see the truth in another’s true being. And he knows we are never what and who we THINK we are, but merely a composite reflection of what we do and say.
On the larger scene, he knows most politicians are liars, that organized religion is mostly for the hopelessly lost, that most authority figures don’t deserve the least bit of respect, and his elders (most of our elders and peers are so busy working on their 13-year-old versions of themselves so as to render themselves little more than silly children) better prove to him that their supposed “wisdom” can hold up in the clear light of day.
When I grow up I’d like to be just like my son…