“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”
Fathers create beauty when they invest time, energy, love and patience into children. The investment of about two decades can result in a lifetime of blessings for several generations.
The most memorable photo I have of my father is of him at the end of the day. Dad was leaving the foundry with soot on his face. I love that picture because It captures the authenticity of who he was and the impact of Dad’s work ethic. A traditional blue-collar guy with a strong back and grit under his nails, Dad’s legacy gave us the gift of perseverance.
Fathers with a strong work ethic cultivate in their children the seeds of persistence, a pattern of not giving up. We need people in our lives who pass along important lessons, by word or example. Fatherhood comes with rich opportunities to share inspirational lessons that last a lifetime.
Here are seven authentic lessons fathers can teach children:
1. Feed those thoughts and dreams. Thoughts and dreams need nourishment. Feed them with good information, great books, and positive people. Nourished dreams have a way of coming true.
2. Words have power; watch them. Be careful of the words you speak. Breathe life and light into children with words of motivation and encouragement.
3. Affirm their divine destiny. Every day, point children toward their best future.
4. Nurture the power of faith. Faith lets us accomplish what others label impossible. Faith fills the darkest moments with light.
5. Be grateful. More than saying “thank you,” help children cultivate an attitude of appreciation—valuing what you have and appreciating what others do for you.
6. Be Forgiving. When you let go of hurts, you remove a burden from your own heart. Forgiveness isn’t so much about freeing the one who hurt you as it is about freeing yourself. Counting wounds detracts from the powerful things you can do.
7. Love unconditionally. This last lesson is the most important. A heart of love touches and heals like nothing else in the universe.
On Father’s Day, 2013, may all of the children, mothers, and wives be especially appreciative of fathers who are willing to teach authentic lessons. The celebration of Father’s Day is always an occasion to remember what having a father really means. And, for me, it is about appreciating a husband who was present; one who knew instinctively how to be a fantastic father.
To all of the fathers who take time to paint masterpieces, Happy Father’s Day!