The Power of Choice – A Lesson Learned From My Purpose Driven Father
I’m blessed in so many ways. One blessing is my relationship with my father. I grew up observing him, admiring him, and learning from him.
I’m proud of his success and what he has taught me over the years. He never lectured me or sat me down and said, “Son, this is how you do it.” He taught me through his actions and how to win at life by how he approached his days and dealt with life challenges. As I reflect on my dad’s life and how he has impacted me, my mom, and so many others, I realized that there are so many nuggets that we could all use in our own lives. It is my desire to share some of those lessons in this blog post and several future posts. Hopefully, like me, you will find these lessons helpful.
Growing up, I didn’t have a curfew. In fact, I can’t remember any hard and fast rules that my dad held over me as I matured into a young man under his roof. He treated me like an adult and showed me respect, and as a result, I never wanted to disappoint him.
I truly enjoyed my childhood and thrived when I was involved in community activities and interacting with my peers. My dad never stood in my way and provided me with the resources to pursue my passions and test my curiosities. Whether it was, taking flying lessons over the summer, or trying my hand at karate, my dad was one of my greatest supporters.
As I grew older and started to go out with my friends in high school, my dad didn’t hover. He didn’t pepper me with lectures, nor did he grill me with questions when I arrived home. Even when I did mess up, he didn’t scold me, he just guided me through the rough patches and always comforted me by saying something simple, “Hey, I made mistakes when I was young too. Just learn from it and don’t do it again.”
When I finally left home and began my journey on my own, I did so with confidence and without ever looking back. I was able to do this because my father gave me the powerful gift every human being needs in order to thrive, the power of choice. You see, we all get to a point in our life where we yearn to make our own choices and come out from under the yoke of our parents. Sadly, many have to wait until they are truly on their own to leverage that power and often make life altering mistakes that are hard to come back from. My dad gave me the freedom to make my own choices while I was young and under his protection, so when I did choose a wrong path, it was much easier for me to recover and get back on track.
The power to choose your own destiny is as real and necessary as water and food. It can be liberating and a wonderful stepping stone to a life of endless possibilities, but it is also dangerous and can be devastating if it is not handled with respect and maturity.
My dad gave me the greatest gift when he got out of my way early in my life and simply walked beside me, and then behind me, giving me space to figure out my own path. He kept his distance, but was never too far away when I needed him. There were times when I would become afraid and needed help when I stumbled. My dad would help me back up, dust me off, and then send me on my way. He comforted me, but he never took the power of choice away from me and for that I’m grateful.
Are you blessing to your kids by allowing them to make their own choices? It’s never too early to begin the process. Give your kids the power of choice and they will be much better for it. Start today!