November 7th 1959
Dear mother and father,
I think you both know how much I respect you and look up to you. Thatís why Iím going to be honest with you.
As Iím sure you know, this year we got a new literature teacher, Mr. John Keating. He has taught us much about literature and quite a lot about life. He has made us realize that we only live once and that we should seize the day. I donít think you will like what Iím now going to tell you, but both of you deserve to hear the truth. After spending some time with Mr. Keating I realized that I couldnít possibly let you decide what Iím going to do with my life. I canít give up my deepest dreams just because you think you know whatís best for me. Whatís best for you isnít necessarily the best thing for me to do. Iím truly sorry, I know this breaks your heart, but I donít want to study medicine, and Iím simply not going to do it. After all, Iíve never wanted to study medicine.
Father, I know that your life didnít turn out the way you wanted it to. However, please understand that if you force me into becoming a doctor, my life will turn out exactly the same way as yours did. When Iím old, I donít want to have to think that my life could have been better if I had chosen another career. Iím afraid thatís whatís going to happen if I study medicine. You do want me to be happy, donít you, so please listen to me this time.
Iím not writing this letter to complain. The reason why Iím writing this is that Iíve finally found out what my ambitions in life are. I want to be an actor. Itís as simple as that. I know it sounds ridiculous to you, but this is my dream. Iím aware that both of you have very high hopes for me. According to your opinion of what success is only an academic career, for instance in law or medicine, will do. However, I have to admit that I donít share your values. It is not at all important for me to get rich or to show others how successful I am. To me the most important thing is to make use of my talents and to spend my life doing the things I enjoy the most.
I know that acting is the right thing for me. Actually, Iím rather good at it. At least thatís what everyone says. Besides, when Iím on the stage I feel so free. Itís a wonderful feeling that no matter what I say, people listen to me! You probably wonít believe it, but Iíve actually already got my first job as an actor! Iím going to play one of the main characters in the ďShakespeare Theatre PerformanceĒ!
Dear mother and father, you know I really care for you and I truly hate to disappoint you. Nevertheless I have to go my own way and make the decisions that are right for me. I sincerely hope that you understand this and that you will accept my choice.