When I think of myself having children, somehow I always seem to picture myself having a son. Although there are many reasons I would love to have a daughter and there is no logical or rational reason to expect I would bear a son, it is always a son I imagine.
And if I had a chance to tell him something (other than that I love him), I would probably tell him something very similar to what my father used to tell me. My father always used to tell me to be a lady. What would a lady do or say? That is how I should behave.
So, I would tell my son: Be a gentleman.
It is not old-fashioned to be a gentleman; gentlemen are timeless. Gentlemanly behavior is not weak, nor does it seek to put others down. Gentlemen act with respect towards others as well as themselves.
Gentlemen take ownership. Of themselves, of responsibility, and of their lives.
They live not just for pleasure, but for a higher purpose.
Gentlemen give of themselves to their nation and their community. Whether it be through military service, civic duty, or mentorship, gentlemen do not subscribe to the notion that they are an island.
Gentlemen act not with narcissism, but with pride.
Think of your legacy, not just when you reach the tail end of your days, but also as you move through this beautiful thing called life. What legacy will you leave behind?
Have a dream of who you wish to be and what you wish for your life. Then go out and chase it with everything you’ve got. You can be anything you want, but you do have to work for it. Sometimes we succeed; sometimes we fail. But the most important thing is to put in the very best effort you can. And only you can know whether you’ve given it your very best. Be not afraid of failure, for failure happens to everyone. It is nothing more than the opportunity to learn and try again. The only thing to fear is not being true to yourself.
As your grandfather would say: Be true to who you are, and for that, you must know what your values are. Stay true to your values and you’ll never go wrong.
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Next week’s challenge: Complete the phrase “It all started…”