“And the sign says ‘Long Haired Freaky People need not apply.'”***

This is a poem for my little man, Kase…

When I look at you and your little face,
I hope you don’t grow up to be a venture capitalist
or an outsourcing specialist,
or a middle manager or consultant of any kind.
I hope you grow up to be kind and smart and thoughtful,
the kind of person who holds open doors for other people,
and doesn’t drive more car than you need
or wear cheap clothes just because they have expensive labels.

In other words, kid,
don’t be an asshole
don’t be one of those guys
whose mother you just want to punch
because she raised a man who spits on the street
and shuffles.

I hope that you will be brave and strong
travel around the world (everyone should backpack somewhere at least once),
climb mountains,
and let your own two feet and hands take you amazing places with big trees and endless views.
Please, don’t grow up to be a person who envisions beautiful places as future locations for mini malls and condos.

Although I wish you will have an amazing career
bettering human kind in general by building stuff, creating things, teaching or helping people,
I also hope you’ll spend time with the (mad) general public
in some shitty customer service industry job
so that you don’t become a shitty customer yourself.
Economic rank does NOT equal rank as a human being.

There’s an Old Irish curse: “May you live in interesting times.”
Try to remember that, all evidence to the contrary, now is about as good or bad as it’s ever been.
I hope that you will live peacefully and be independent of mind.
In other words, think for yourself.

I hope you will be better than us.
I hope you will always be fascinated with the world all around you.
I hope you won’t grow up.

***Update: Well, colour me wrong. I’ve been advised by two knowledgable sources in music history that it is not Neil Young who wrote and performed “Signs”. It is actually a band known as Five Man Electrical Band who does the song. They were also a Canadian band, played extensively in the early 70s, and can now be heard ad nauseum on the classic rock station. Hence the confusion. Thanks for correcting me on this one, guys.