With Father’s Day being right around the corner, I can’t help but reflect on some things my father taught me and things I hope to be able to pass on to my children. One of those vital lessons came to me around my 15th birthday. He told me, “You are a man now. What you do or don’t do is your choice, but you have to own the consequences of those choices.” This is a moment, I will never forget and one I revisit often although I certainly am not perfect and haven’t owned every consequence as I should have, but I do recognize this and strive to grow when I see it happen.
A deeper rooted theme in this message is one we face often throughout our lives and careers. We come to many forks in the road and our decisions can ultimately steer the directions of our families. We can choose to sacrifice time with our loved ones to chase money, notoriety, rank or a position to become somebody our families are proud of. The path where our end goal is become somebody important can lead us to sacrifice our values, kiss butt, or step on another to get closer to that goal. This could very well get you to that coveted title or position, but is it something you earned? Can you look yourself in the mirror and face yourself knowing the truth of what you did to get there?
The other option is to do what is right. To own your integrity. To solve problems that raise others up. To build bridges for those who will come behind you. To let your works speak for you and elevate those around you. You will eventually be so good that others can’t ignore your talent. They can’t deny your passion for others. Most importantly, they can’t question your values. This is the person I want to become. This is the person I would like my children to see. If it those great positions and titles follow, great. However whether they do or not, this is a choice with consequences I would want to own. To me there is no greater duty title than when my kids call me, “daddy”.
I encourage you to remember and honor your fathers or whoever that father figure was for you this weekend.