Dear Aden and Connor: The secret to getting the girls (or boys) is to become a caring, thoughtful nerd

It is hard to remain an unapologetically curious nerd when you are growing up. It is difficult to define yourself as a kind and caring person right now. It is a challenge to learn how to respect women, and others different from you, from their perspective.  American culture in 2019 is good at promoting cruelty, dehumanizing others, bullying, misogyny (I hope you know this word or learn it soon), racism, tribalism (learn about this too), bigotry.  These traits will ultimately make you miserable, unsuccessful (even if you have tons of money) and very alone (even if you are with a supermodel who just desires your money).  The evolution of the human brain and mind have delivered us from these primal and destructive instincts.  But if you follow the crowd without thoughtful intention, you may find yourself captivated by these primal instincts and on a path to misery no matter how “successful” being a jerk makes you.  I pray by the time you are in middle and high school that you read about President Trump and our current culture in text books with shock and awe at how Americans used to behave. Growing up on a small isolated island near Seattle, I read about Jim Crowe and the Civil Rights Movement with disbelief.  When I moved to Texas as a young adult,  I was shocked by both the overt and discrete racism that appeared culturally acceptable.  Then I realized the only reason I didn’t encounter overt bigotry in my youth was because I grew up with all white people. Even if you are incredulous about the ugliness of 2019 culture, I suspect you will have a similar experience to me. I expect it will still be a problem. We will still be human and broken in many ways.

If you ultimately want the amazing girl (or boy) and a successful, happy life- figure out how to be kind, caring, thoughtful of others.   Figure out how to respect women, and anyone else different from you, the way they want to be respected.  And btw, there isn’t one way to respect any particular group.  Focus on how to best respect the person in front of you. Maintain your curiosity about the world. Don’t be scare to be a nerd. Ultimately, nerds are incredibly attractive to romantic partners, and just to people in general.  You will probably cringe as this is written by your mom, but smarts are super sexy. Focus on these good things. You will be delivered out the other end of this washing machine called adolescence with everything you are actually trying to achieve and more.  Run from the primal path of putting your boot on other peoples necks just to make yourself feel big and important- that is the path to sure misery and loneliness.  Other people on this path will want you to follow them because it makes them feel less miserable and alone- don’t fall for it. In this story, be the superhero with the partner of your dreams who saves the world with your geeky intelligence and generous, thoughtful spirit. This will take a lot of courage but you are quite brave enough son.

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