Defining Moments (A Lesson from a Father)

I was eavesdropping and what I heard made my heart sink.


The father said to his son “No, you can’t go and play. Remember what I told you…”


I was expecting him to say “….you need to do your chores first.”


My kids & I were on our way to the park but I was desperate that they not interrupt my listening pleasure, so I threw their ball as far as I could. They bolted towards it.


The man continued “…I told you. YOU have to work twice as hard as the other kids because WE don’t want you to end up like me!”


For good measure, he added “Do you understand me?”




I understood him but I wonder how much of that POWERFUL LESSON in inequality, social standing, class, responsibility, regret, hierarchy, dreams, resentment, balance, diversity, education, priority, motivation, sacrifice, politics, psychology that child understood.


I absorbed the lesson (including its dark side) and said a prayer of gratitude as I walked away.


I have no doubt that that will be a defining moment in the child’s life. The only question left to ponder is how exactly he will define the moment, or how exactly the moment will define him.


Aluta continua, as they say. The road is long (for us all).


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