If you ever come asking: “Mom, how can I make my friends like me?” my only answer will be: “by never seeking their approval.” We are nice because being nice is an obligation, it’s something we, your parents and teachers, have worked day and night to instill in you. But to go out of your way just to fit in and be a part of a certain group: the cool folks, the elitists, the sports squad, the cheerleaders, the debate club, that’s never going to guarantee an everlasting friendship. Take it from your mother, the only friendships that have stood the test the time are those in which I felt loved, accepted and even celebrated for my individuality. Sure, they thought I was crazy at times, and literally had to pull me out of my shell at others, but we made it through the decades. At our time, nobody really cared whether you had thousands of followers and your social media content went viral. We saw the change each one of us could make, we wished each other well, we cheered each other on, we had each others’ backs, we were sincerely connected by the heart. We never needed an internet connection to maintain a friendship running that deep. Try to make at least one everlasting friendship, kids. Find friends whom you can connect with spiritually and mentally. Don’t melt in a crowd and wonder why you’re constantly feeling anxious, dissatisfied and depressed. Be people connectors, not just people collectors. Someday you’ll understand that rebels don’t spend their time at middle and high school breaking rules and having parties. It takes more to be a rebel. It takes a person who’s not afraid of being called crazy or weird for trying to live by their own terms. That’s a spirit that can’t be tamed.