Words for My Future Son

 Four years ago, if you asked me if I wanted to have children, my answer would have been a nebulous “Maybe”.

I would have said something along the lines of “Hey man. Don’t ask me about marriage and family now. That’s way down the road.” 

That was before I started taking responsibility for my life, and asking myself the really significant questions. It was easy to ignore such things when the excuse of youth was available. It still is, but I chose to not use it.

I do not make excuses about indecision.

I have, however, in these subsequent years thought about having a family. The reason was because I realised the truth:

A healthy family is the key to human success. It is one of the greatest creations that a man may achieve in his life- One worthy of his undivided passion.

Consequently, I pondered what it meant to be a great father.

I am still pondering.

I kept asking myself these questions: What are the lessons I want to teach my children? What values do I want to demonstrate to them so that they can be better people?

In my imagination, I played out conversations I would have with my future son. I imagined the challenges he would face in a world in which not everyone believed in the aforementioned values, or values at all.

Then I saw it.

I wasn’t just saying these words to my future son, but to a boy who was- and still is- in search of himself.


Yes champ. I’m speaking to you.

There are things in life that just don’t seem to make sense, right?

I’ve been there more times than you can imagine.

You cannot always win or succeed.

You have to learn before you can earn.

What are those things in your eyes?

Go ahead, it’s okay. Do not be afraid to cry. Show emotion.

Look at me. Can I tell you something?

That pain that you’re feeling in your heart. It is not here to stay.

It is here to pass.

But promise me one thing, okay?

Not matter what the excuse is, do not give up hope. Excuse is temporary, but your passion is forever.

You told me once you were going to create something new in this world. You told me you were going to make this world a better place for your mom and dad.

Remember the grin on your face when you said it? Remember the time you promised to always have a passion, no matter how bleak your dream seemed?

Whatever problems you have, you may want to say  that it isn’t your fault. But it is your responsibility.

It feels good to have responsibility, doesn’t it?

Remember how you said you were going to take care of me and mom one day? Well you know how that starts?

It starts when you act like a man. A Man has Responsibilities.

Yes, of course. I know what your teachers and peers say. I know what people say about stereotypes and the patriarchy.

What do you think?

It’s confusing isn’t it?

What if I told you there is something in you that already has the answer, even if you don’t?

Let me ask you…

What did it feel like when you first dreamed about having your own family? Having a house, a neat garden, and a beautiful wife who loved you?

How did it feel to imagine coming home to the smiles of your loved ones each day?

How about when you went after something that was not guaranteed, like the first time you asked your dream girl out? Was she how you imagined her to be?

How did it feel to stand up for your principles, even when they went against the flow? How would you feel if you spoke out for truth when everyone else was echoing false platitudes?

How did it feel to hoist up that girl friend of yours and carry her around the house playing caveman and cave woman? I’ve heard her squeals of delight.

Don’t worry. It’s not embarrassing. Not to me.

Ha! You’re smiling…That’s the idea.

Yeah, you’re right. I am simplifying things.

Look, I once knew a guy named Will Occam who had a stubborn streak of keeping it simple. I guess I liked that guy.

Other people’s feelings? Yeah I care.

You think I don’t?

I care more than everything. But I do not care about those who do nothing to enrich my life.

I will not give them an ounce of my energy.

You say that sounds cruel.

Listen. Of all the people that you are going to love in this world, there is one person above all that you must love.

You know the answer.

Selfish?

Sure.

But when you are a grown man and have children of your own, you might realise something. It wasn’t the children themselves that made you happy, but rather the pleasure that they gave you.

Your unconditional love was only possible because it was true love.

It was a love that made you smile every time you saw your babies’ faces’. You were fulfilled because your children gave you joy.

They allowed you to be their guardian and guide. They allowed you to shape them to be the greatest masterpiece of your life.

You gave willingly because you got every pleasure you wanted in return.

Not because they were there as objects, but because they were there as your creations.

In turn nothing was too much to give.

The same is with your passion.

Never give it up for a label that means nothing to you.

Never sacrifice. If you give, give willingly for pleasure or atonement in return.

Never look at yourself as a victim.

Now do me a favor.

Stand up. Wipe those tear away. Now.

Put responsibility back on your shoulders, and realize that you wanted it that way.

You always wanted it that way.

Because you are a man.

You are going to strip yourself of excuses, and be about your business.

Dicum factum. What is said is done.

Nec temere, ne timide. Not rash, nor timid.

Ad victoram. To victory.

Until next time.

Your long time friend.

-Tie

 


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Commit Once: A Primer on Discipline

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