Dear Lil Cory and Javon,
Nephews, I want to start by saying, of course, that I Love you tremendously. There's a lot that I know you will never understand about me as your uncle, but I write this to you so that I do my job as an uncle. And so that one day, you will be able to do the same for your nieces and nephews.
The responsibility of being an uncle is tremendous. A lot of aunts and uncles either shirk their responsibilities or don't fully comprehend just how important they are in the development of their nieces and nephews. And to this point, it took me entirely too long to begin to live up to mine. So this little letter is to make sure that no matter what happens, you'll always have a lasting image of the lessons that I hope to impart to the both of you.
First, drugs are bad! I know it sounds cliche, but they are. There is absolutely no excuse for you to live your life addicted to them in any way. If you do start down that path, please do all that you can to ween yourself from them. (Ask any of us for help. We will not judge you, and will do all in our power to assist you). I know that there are a lot of negative forces in this world that may try and draw you down that path, but I guarantee you that your life will always be better served by confronting your problems head on. It won't be easy, but you will be a better Man for it.
Second, and along the same lines, don't deal drugs. As young black men, don't give the system the opportunity to throw your black asses in jail. I know that the allure of the fast money and women that being a drug dealer brings may seem appealing at first. But in the long run, you only expose yourself to more negativity and despair. And trust me, from what I know, you only wind in 2 places from it: jail, or the cemetary. (Watch Scarface or New Jack City for a visual reference). And I don't want to see you in either place. Anything in this life worth having is worth working for!
Third, white people will pay you to do some of anything for them. All you have to do is humble yourself, and not live your life saying what you won't do. Too often, our people are heard saying I would NEVER. And that's fine if we're talking about truly compromising yourself and your principles. But there's no shame in an honest living. NONE! And don't ever let anyone tell you differently.
Fourth, if at all possible, go to college. Not just for the education, college will provide you the opportunity to expose yourself to all different walks of life. Don't live your life inside a bubble. Some of my greatest experiences have been when I stepped outside of what would be considered my norm. And besides, you will never have more of an opportunity to meet women as you will while you're in college. Oh, and if you can, stay in the dorms for at least a year. Trust me, you'll love it. Which brings me to #5.
Fifth, do not settle down before your time. Nephews, this is one of the most important lessons that I learned the hard way. Love is wonderful. But just because you discover love at 17, 18, 19, does not mean that the love endures until you're 21, 22, 23. If she's the one for you, you'll truly know. But please do not feel as though because the two of you like Mexican food, or that you are both scorpios, that somehow that girl is the perfect girl for you. I know you will hear it a million times, but know your Uncle Dre said it first, you will meet tons of girls. And you will find great qualities in many of them. That doesn't mean that you need to settle down with any of them. As I was told that my Grandfather John said to my father, get all the gusto you can. (Gusto meaning P. And by the time you understand this, you'll know what P is).
But sixth, if you make a baby, take care of it! Being a real man has nothing to do with the number of babies you can make. Being a real man has everything to do with living up to your responsibilities. If you and a young lady make a baby, you are OBLIGATED to help her raise that child. Both financially and emotionally. And on this one, like no other rule, I will physically kick your asses if you try to dodge this responsibility. (So I don't wanna hear any shit when I start swinging on you, you'll already know why).
And last, for now, family is the most important thing in life. (Next to God). Let me tell you that no people in this world will ever piss you off like your family. However, no other people in this world will ever have your back like your family. Always make sure that you reciprocate. Spending time with friends is cool, but in the end, blood is thicker than water. (Sorry, but you will hear that one a million times too). And the time spent with your family will always stand out in your mind. No matter what.
I hope to have the opportunity to update this list as time goes on. I know you cats are just 4, but I don't ever want the chance to impart wisdom into your lives to ever slip past me. And just know that as long as I'm here, I will always be available to you guys for anything. And even if you don't feel like your parents will understand, I will. Live life to the fullest! (Again, expect another million times).
I Love You,