In 1966, investment analyst Harry Brown at Christmas wrote his nine-year-old daughter, who is still quoted. He explained to the girl that nothing in this world - even love - can be perceived as given.
Now Christmas, and I have a common problem - what a gift you choose. I know that you are happy - books, games, dresses. But I want to give you something that will remind you of me every Christmas. And, you know, I think I chose a gift. I will give you one simple truth, which I had to learn for many years. If you understand it now, you will enrich your life in hundreds of different ways and it will protect you from a lot of problems in the future.
So: no one owes you anything.
This means that no one lives for you, my child. If you understand that no one should organize you happiness, you will be freed from expectation of the impossible. Nobody is obliged to love you. If someone loves you, then there is something special about you that makes him happy. Find out what this is, try to make it stronger, and then you will be loved even more.
No one should respect you. And some people will not be good to you. But the moment you understand that no one is obliged to do you good, and that someone may be unkind to you, you will learn to avoid such people. Because you do not owe them anything either.
You should be the best first of all for yourself. Because if you succeed, other people will want to be with you, they will want to give you different things in exchange for what you can give them. And someone will not want to be with you, and the reasons will not be at all in you. If this happens - just look for other relationships. Let another’s problem do not become yours.
Once again: no one owes you anything.
At the moment when you understand that the love and respect of others need to be earned, you will not wait for the impossible and you will not be disappointed. Others are not required to share property, feelings, or thoughts with you. And if they do it, it’s only because you earned it. And then you can be proud of the love you deserve and the sincere respect of your friends. But you can never take it all for granted. If you do this, you will lose all these people. They are not "yours by right." Achieve them and "earn" them every day.
As a mountain I fell off my shoulders, when I realized that no one owes me anything. While I thought that I was due, I was spending a terrible amount of effort, physical and emotional, to get my own. But in fact, no one owes me good conduct, respect, friendship, politeness or intelligence. And the moment I realized this, I began to get much more satisfaction from all of my relationships. I focused on people who want to do the things that I need from them. And it served me well - with friends, business partners, lover, vendors and strangers. I remember all the time that I can get what I need only if I enter the world of my interlocutor. I need to understand how he thinks he thinks it is important, which he wants in the end ...
It is not so easy to summarize in one letter what I have been able to understand in many years. But maybe if you re-read this letter every Christmas, its meaning will be a little clearer to you every year.
NOBODY OWES YOU ANYTHING.