This blog post was written in support of the comparethemarket.com Letters of Life campaign - a campaign which aims to encourage parents to think about what key pieces of guidance or life learnings they would like to pass onto their children, so that they will always have a piece of their parent's advice with them come what may. Please click here to find letters from others and advice on how to create your own Letter of Life.
If you're reading this letter, I regret to say it's because the worst has happened and I have passed away. Sorry about that. Makes me feel frightfully rude, truth be told. I hope it doesn't inconvenience you too much.
Anyway, I guess I should use this as an opportunity to pass on some of what I learned during my life. Who knows, you might find some of it useful.
Firstly, table manners. Wherever you go and whatever you do in life, you will be judged by your table manners. Keep your mouth shut as you chew, put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, and for goodness sake remember that your side plate is to the left and your glass is to the right.
Have you ever seen the confusion that can be unleashed when a group of people are sitting at a circular dining table and someone uses the wrong side plate? It happened when I was eating out once - the result was best described as carnage.
Let's go for something a little more profound, now shall we? Regrettably, heartbreak is a fact of life. Do yourself a favour and get your heartbroken once when you are very young. It'll hurt, but any subsequent break-ups will be much easier to deal with.
On the subject of romance, choose your partner with care. Only involve yourself with someone who you can respect and who respects you. Your significant other should lift you up and support you, and you should be selfless in supporting them. For a relationship to work there needs to be parity and respect. If your relationship does not have either of these, move on.
Okay, we've done profound. Let's try something else.
Ah, yes, here's some advice that will help you out enormously: Avoid wine bores. Wine is very simple. It should ideally be French, have a vintage, be bottled on the chateau, made from a trusted grape, and cost no more than a tenner a bottle. If anyone expresses an opinion beyond this, alarm bells should ring. If someone explicitly says they know a lot about wine, make your excuses and leave very quickly.
Getting serious again for a moment, help those less fortunate than yourself. Whatever upset the world throws at you, there will always be people in greater need. Offer what help you can and do not judge their situation. It may simply be giving a homeless person some clothes or food. Just do what you can - the smallest things can make a huge difference.
As for money, be better with your money than I was. As you may have noticed, you aren't inheriting a great deal. Sorry.
Okay kids, I'm going to bring this missive to an end. Love, be loved, respect others, and where others see problems, try to see an opportunity. Enjoy yourselves and remember as you get older, time moves faster.
One final thing: The music can never, ever be too loud.
Your ever-loving father.
You can find more of John's blogs on Dadbloguk.com