It is important for you to know that I borrowed that image from my friend Mitchell Brown, also known as Thoughtful Pop. You should also know that this post is being entered into the challenge grid at Yeah Write #63.
What is significant about that is out of the six or seven times I have entered I have only won once and have been flat out destroyed every other time. I mention this because one day my children may read this post and I want them to know that their dad can be ridiculously competitive but is also tenacious.
I don’t give up. I don’t quit. That’s because sometimes the win comes from showing up and battling. That is because if you aren’t blessed with ridiculous amounts of talent and the will to use it you don’t win.
Although my experience has taught me that persistence and tenacity are often enough to make it happen. When you are willing to push yourself and take one more step than the next guy you can win.
But I don’t want to get caught up solely in talking about winning and losing. I want to talk about what I want to teach my children. I want to talk about helping them become menschen.
A mensch is a person who has character, integrity and honor. Me? I am just your average Joe with oodles of this and buckets of that. It is a silly way of saying that I am a decent guy who has made a lot of good choices and a lot of bad choices.
But I also understand that this is part of being human as is learning from our mistakes. I am not the sum total of all that is good or all this bad. I am both. And as a father I am obligated to do the best I can to help my children not do the same stupid things that I did.
If we take a moment to look at exhibit A, also known as the fancy picture up above we see that there are no mistakes in life and that we keep repeating our lessons until we learn them.
Both of those resonate with me. Hell, the whole thing resonates with me which is part of why I posted it here. I take my role as a father very seriously which is part of why I keep writing these letters to my kids.
I want them to see that I am walking the walk and talking the talk. I want them to understand that there have been moments when I felt like Atlas and that I didn’t give up. I didn’t given up in large part because I was taught not to take the easy way out and because I want the kids to do the same.
I want them to understand that there is merit and value in work. I want them to see that sometimes walking through fire leads to something better, bigger and more beautiful.
It is a Journey
Life is a grand adventure and one hell of a journey. We often make it more complicated than it needs to be so here is my attempt to try to make it simpler for my children:
Live, love and laugh.
Do all three of these things as often as you can and without fear. The lack of fear part is hard. Someone is going to rip out your heart and I will probably want to kick their ass because when you hurt my kid you hurt me.
But the thing is that you never really understand how amazing love can be until you make yourself open and vulnerable to heartbreak. So unless you take a risk you miss opportunity for the great reward.
Live, love and laugh. Remember that you can do all those with a friend too. Make friends who are so dear you would consider taking a bullet for them and they for you. You don’t have to tons, a few good ones will often suffice.
There is more to say, do and discuss but for now I think we’ll make it simple.
Live, love and laugh.
Do those things and you will be happy.