Letter to my daughter

Good morning. I’m delighted to welcome you here. I’m thankful to many people who made this celebration possible. First, I would like to thank Nina for hosting this event in her house. She is gracious to us, but I think this might be because she adores her granddaughter. Thank you to Sharon, who has worked hard with all the details you are and will enjoy. Thank you to Mateo for his support to her sister. I think that, secretly, he is very proud of her sister. Thank you to Paco for his continuous support and help with the logistics. We know he loves her niece. And thanks to Will who is officiating this rite and who is a part of Mirei’s spiritual journey.

The purpose today is to celebrate Mirei’s rite of passage from girl to little woman following in the Jewish tradition. She has done a great job in preparing for this and has made us very proud. At this step in her life, Mirei sought to claim her heritage and to look for a spiritual path. This transition from child to responsible person will bring light to her life; and, by extension, to all of us sharing with her.

When Mirei came to us, she brought an endless smile. She would wake up happy and go to bed happy. I don’t know what happen after that! Recently, she is showing her mom and me some new not-as-happy faces. We love you dearly no matter what.

Mirei, you are now a young lady and not a child anymore. You are taking the responsibilities of a grown up. You are accepting the consequences of your actions. Our job as parents in that respect is over. You own your sins because you have decided to take that responsibility. It’s a big task. It’s a task I know you are prepared to undertake. I know you might need help from time to time, and I know sometimes you won’t admit it. But, I want to tell you that your mom and I are here for you, and that we are ready to listen to you and to provide you with sage advice. Remember what I have been telling you since you were a little girl: “your father is always right”. That doesn’t mean we will or want to live your life for you. We don’t. It only means that it’s always good to listen to advice. The decisions are, from now on, yours. So are the consequences. So listen to us, if only to have a laugh together.

For this new journey I want to give you some advice I offered your brother when he was a Bar Mitzvah.

Follow your heart. Blindly. If you know what your heart tells you, go for it. No questions asked. It works every time. The hard part is listening.

If you like the teachings of a master; follow those teachings and principles, not the master. We people are flawed. We are bound to let you down. Don’t follow the person, follow the principles.

Be a true friend and sister. Be good to the ones you love, friends and your family. Yes, including your brother. He knows you love him.

Seek knowledge. Never stop learning. The truth will make you free. Remember, though, that knowledge also brings responsibility. You have to change your behavior accordingly. Once you know the truth, there are no excuses but just to walk forward.

Keep singing. It fills your heart and soul when you do it. It has the added benefit of filling the heart and soul of all of us who listen to you.

If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. You are going to do great. Your mom and I know it.

I love you.

Dad

Letter to my Son

Greetings and salutations! Thank you for being here. We really appreciate it. We know you have traveled from far or might have made some big or small sacrifices to be here. Our purpose is to share with Mateo his passage from boy into a man, following the Jewish traditions. I would like to thank Nina for her constant generosity and letting us use her house for this event. I would like to thank Sharon for all the work she has put to make this celebration memorable and for being the gracious hostess she is. I would like to thank Mirei for her enthusiasm and support to her big brother. Also, thanks to my brother Paco for his involvement with our family and his support with logistics. Finally, I would like to thank Will for guiding Mateo in this process. We really appreciate you being one of his mentors.

By being here, I promise you Light. Sharing this moment with Mateo will bring Light to him and will bring Light to all of us. You are here for a real spiritual treat.

Mateo came to our life and made us smile. He made our household happier. He made our extended family happier. Light. More Light. That’s what he brought home.

Then, he grew and EVERYTHING changed … In a way … We still get Light from you … Sometimes …

We tried to interest him in sports. We made him try soccer, and then little league baseball. He was more interested in baseball until he stepped into the dance studio. Everything changed and the rest is history. He said he knew he wanted to be a professional ballet dancer and a choreographer. He was 10 then. Now, he is talking about dance and technology (robots, computers, that kind of stuff).

It’s OK Mateo. You can evolve your points of view. You can have an idea of what you want to be in life and change it later on. You have the right to make decisions, and then change them. You have the right to make mistakes.  At the same time, you have to own the results of your decisions. Today, that you become a man, you start owning the consequences of your decisions.

What does it mean to be a man? I know you are learning that now as part of your Bar Mitzvah preparation. Kabbalah teaches that, when you become 13 years old, your sins belong to you. Up till now, your sins belonged to us, your parents. Your mistakes were due to our incapacity to teach you properly. To give you a better example. Not anymore. You are a man now, and in the immortal words of Ben Parker: “With great powers come great responsibilities.” Now your life is your own; we won’t live it for you. You make your own path by walking your own path.

That doesn’t mean you are alone. We were, are, and will be at your side always. When you need to talk, we will be there. When you need to just feel our presence and know that we are at your side, with no words spoken, we will be there.

This is your spiritual manhood. You are still under our care and protection until you turn 18. Now that you are entering your teenage years, if you get drunk and crazy and get arrested, your sins are yours but we still have to bail you out. (Just don’t push it, ok?)

There is a song by Pink Floyd called “Time”. It’s about being ready to live life by using your time to fulfill your purpose. The lyrics go:

“And then one day you find
“Ten years have got behind you
“No one told you when to run
“You missed the starting gun”

Roger Waters, the writer of those lyrics, said that his mother had always told him that he had to be prepared for life. One day he realized that life had already started and that, ready or not, he was living it.

I know you won’t have that experience. You are starting your life as a man well prepared, with the great values you’ve developed. I want to think that our guidance and example have contributed to that. You were a noble boy. You are turning into a noble man.

I thought about giving you a series of pointers and advice. I realized that what I wanted to say would take the size of a book. I promise I’ll tell you all I want to tell you, but not right now. I’ll give you some one liners, though.

Follow your heart. Blindly. If you know what your heart tells you, go for it. No questions asked. It works. I know. I followed my heart and I found your mother.

If you like the teachings and principles of a wise person or a sage; follow those principles, not the person. We people are flawed. We are bound to let you down. Don’t follow the person, follow the principles.

Be a true friend and brother. Be good to the ones you love, friends and your family. Yes, including your sister. Remember, no man left behind.

Seek knowledge. Never stop learning. The truth will make you free. Remember, though, that knowledge also brings responsibility. You have to change your behavior accordingly. Once you know the truth, there are no excuses.

You have the power to learn and to change for the better. Just remember, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

I love you Mateo.

Daddy.

 

Carta a mi hijo

Saludos a todos! Gracias por estar aquí, lo apreciamos de verdad. Sabemos que han viajado de lejos, o que han hecho sacrificios pequeños o grandes para poder estar aquí. Nuestro propósito es compartir con Mateo su pase de niño a hombre, siguiendo la tradición Judía. Me gustaría agradecer a Nina por su constante generosidad y por dejarnos usar su casa para este evento; a Sharon por todo el trabajo y esfuerzo que ha puesto para hacer que esta celebración sea memorable y por ser la amable anfitriona que es; a Mirei por su entusiasmo y apoyo a su hermano mayor. Además, gracias a mi hermano Paco por su cercanía a nuestra familia y por su apoyo en logística. Finalmente, me gustaría agradecer a Will por guiar a Mateo en este proceso. Realmente apreciamos que seas uno de sus mentores.

Por estar aquí con nosotros, les ofrecemos Luz. Compartir este momento con Mateo le traerá Luz a él y nos traerá Luz a todos nosotros. Están aquí para gozar de un regalo espiritual.

Mateo vino a nuestra vida y nos hizo sonreir. Hizo nuestro hogar mas feliz. Hizo nuestra familia extendida más feliz. Luz. Más Luz. Eso es lo que trajo con él a nuestro hogar.

Luego, creció y TODO cambió … De alguna manera … aún recibimos Luz de ti … a veces …

Mateo: Tratamos que te inereses en los deportes. Te hicimos probar el fútbol, y luego te pusimos en una liga de béisbol. Te interesaste más en béisbol hasta que pusiste un pie en el estudio de ballet. Todo cambió entonces y el resto es historia. Dijiste que querías ser un bailarín profesional de ballet y un coreógrafo. Tenías 10 años entonces. Ahora, hablas de danza y tecnología (robots, computadoras, ese tipo de cosas).

Es OK Mateo. Puedes cambiar tus puntos de vista. Puedes tener una idea de lo que quieres hacer con tu vida y luego cambiar de opinión. Tienes derecho de tomar tus propias decisiones, y luego cambiar de idea. Tienes el derecho de cometer errores.  A la vez, tienes que ser dueño de los resultados de tus decisiones. Hoy, que te conviertes en un hombre, empiezas a ser dueño de las consecuencias de tus decisiones.

Qué significa ser un hombre? Sé que estás aprendiendo al respecto en tu preparación para el Bar Mitzvah. La Cábala enseña que, cuando cumples 13 años, tus pecados te pertenecen a ti. Hasta ahora, tus pecados nos pertenecían a nosotros, tus padres. Tus errores se debían a nuestra incapacidad de enseñarte apropiadamente. De darte un mejor ejemplo. No más. Eres un hombre ya, y en las inmortales palabras de Ben Parker: “Con gran poder vienen grandes responsabilidades.” Ahora tu vida te pertenece; no la vamos a vivir por ti. Haces tu propio camino al andar tu camino.

Eso no significa que estás solo. Nosotros estuvimos, estamos y estaremos a tu lado siempre. Cuando necesites hablar, estaremos presentes. Cuando necesites sólo sentir nuestra presencia y saber que estamos a tu lado, en silencio, estaremos ahí.

Esta es tu madurez espiritual. Aún estás bajo nuestro cuidado y protección material hasta que cumplas 18. Ahora que entras en tu adolescencia, si te emborrachas, haces locuras y te arrestan, tus pecados son tuyos pero tu mamá y yo todavía tenemos que sacarte de la cárcel. (Así que no abuses, ok?)

Hay una canción de Pink Floyd llamada “Time”. Su letra se refiere a estar listo para la vida, usando tu tiempo para cumplir con tu propósito. Esta es parte de la letra:

“And then one day you find
“Ten years have got behind you
“No one told you when to run
“You missed the starting gun”

“Y luego un día encuentras
“Diez años están detrás tuyo
“Nadie te dijo cuándo correr
“Se te pasó el disparo de partida”

Roger Waters, el autor de estas letras, dijo que su madre siempre le había dicho que tenía que estar preparado para la vida. Un día se dió cuenta que la vida ya había empezado y que, listo o no, ya la estaba viviendo.

Yo sé que no te tocará esa experiencia. Empiezas tu vida de hombre bien preparado, con los grandes valores que haz desarrollado. Quiero pensar que nuestra guía y ejemplo ha contribuido a esto. Fuiste un muchacho noble. Te estás convirtiendo en un hombre noble.

Pensé en darte una serie de consejos y sugerencias. Luego me di cuenta que lo que quería decirte requeriría que escriba un libro. Te prometo que te diré todo lo que quiero decirte, pero no ahora. Sin embargo, te daré algunos consejos cortos.

Sigue a tu corazón. Ciegamente. Si sabes qué es lo que te dice tu corazón, no dudes, anda y persíguelo. Sin hacer preguntas. Funciona. Yo sé. Yo seguí a mi corazón y encontré a tu madre.

Si te gustan las enseñanzas y los principios de una sabio; sigue esos principios, no a la persona. Nosotros las personas tenemos defectos. Te vamos a decepcionar. No sigas a la persona, sigue los principios.

Sé un amigo y hermano de verdad. Se bueno con la gente que amas, amigos y familia. Sí, incluyendo a tu hermana. Recuerda, no dejamos a nadie detrás.

Busca conocimiento. Nunca dejes de aprender. La verdad te hará libre. Recuerda, sin embargo, que el conocimiento trae consigo responsabilidad. Tienes que cambiar tu comportamiento de acuerdo a lo que aprendes. Una vez que conoces la verdad, no hay excusas.

Tienes el poder para aprender y cambiar para mejor. Recuerda, “Con gran poder vienen grandes responsabilidades.”

Te quiero Mateo.

Tu papá.

La Oración Más Bella que Conozco.

La Gran Invocación

Desde el punto de Luz en la Mente de Dios,
Que afluya Luz a las mentes de los hombres,
Que la Luz descienda a la Tierra.

Desde el punto de Amor en el Corazón de Dios,
Que afluya amor a los corazones de los hombres,
Que el Cristo retorne a la Tierra.

Desde el centro desde donde la Voluntad de Dios es conocida,
Que el Propósito guíe las pequeñas voluntades de los hombres,
El Propósito que los Maestros conocen y sirven.

Desde el centro que llamamos la raza de los hombres,
Que se realice el Plan de Amor y de Luz
Y selle la puerta donde se halla el mal.

Que la Luz, el Amor y el Poder restablezcan el Plan en la Tierra.