02/20/2015 12:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

30 Things I Want My Children to Know

Lauren Casper
  1. Love is louder than hate... even when love whispers.
  2. Fear isn't weakness; it simply creates opportunity for courage. It's OK be to afraid.
  3. Tears aren't weakness, either. Crying means you have the strength to acknowledge and express your emotions.
  4. Beauty radiates from within, and you are beautiful.
  5. Be kind to everyone, even bullies... and never, ever be the bully.
  6. Choose forgiveness; it will be hard, but it will be worth it.
  7. Create your own definition of success -- and remember that others' successes don't equal your failures. There's room for all of us.
  8. Feminism's true definition is simply the belief that men and women deserve equal rights and opportunities. Be a feminist.
  9. You will fail sometimes, and that's OK. Keep trying.
  10. You're strong. You might not feel it all the time, but you are.
  11. Other people's opinions don't define you.
  12. It's never too late to change course; if you get on the wrong path, you can get off it.
  13. You have worth not because of what you do, but because of who you are.
  14. Follow your dreams, even if they seem too big.
  15. You will have good days and bad days -- both are important.
  16. Take risks -- surprise yourself and others.
  17. There will always be people in need around you. Keep your eyes peeled for them, and reach out a helping hand. Even better, become a friend.
  18. Smile a lot. Aim to have a heavy set of laugh lines before you hit 30.
  19. Care about the environment.
  20. Read as much as you can. Never stop learning.
  21. Be compassionate -- to people and to animals.
  22. No one can ever take away your faith or your integrity. You alone own them.
  23. Admit when you are wrong, and apologize when needed.
  24. Stand up for justice, but be merciful.
  25. You have a lot to offer this world just by being you.
  26. Be best friends with each other forever.
  27. You have amazing hair.
  28. Don't settle. In love or in life. You were created for more.
  29. Learn to cultivate contentment and reject comparison.
  30. I love you and I am proud of you and I will always be here with wide open arms.

Lauren is the author of How to Fund Your Adoption: Dispelling the Myth That You Can't Afford to Adopt. Join Lauren regularly on her blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

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