Posted June 25, 2015 by jimhigley
Want to know a little secret?
For years I’ve had one goal for you as my child. And I’ve tried every day of my life to help make that goal become a reality.
The goal wasn’t found on the playing field. I was never concerned about home runs, what position you played or how much playing time you had. I loved the fact that you tried things, that you experienced the fun (and challenges) of being part of a team. And while I sometimes tired from driving you back and forth from practice after practice, I knew it was important to help you keep the commitment you made each and every time you started a new season.
But the goal wasn’t found in sports.
It also wasn’t found in the classroom. While grades certainly matter, they aren’t the most important thing. I hope you remember the first thing I always asked of you when you brought home a report card or your score on a test. “How do you feel about that?” was my standard question. Almost all the time. Nope, grades weren’t the goal. I did, however, want you to learn how to love learning new things, and be challenged. And the truth is I actually miss those days of watching you sit at the kitchen counter – finishing up a school project you waited until the last minute to tackle.
But the goal wasn’t all about grades. It never will be.
And it never will be found in your clothes, your looks or your newest hairstyle (and, let’s be honest – you’ve had a couple memorable hairstyles over the years). But styles change. Trends change. And I know that it’s fun to try new things. So the “outside you” – how you looked – certainly was never part of the goal. But while we’re on the topic, I hope I made it very clear to you that what I do care about is how you take care of yourself. I care about what you eat, what you drink – and everything that has to do with your health and exercise. And that’s an on-going conversation we’ll have for the rest of your life.
None of those were the ultimate goal, however.
The real goal I’ve had for you is the same goal I’ve learned to have for myself which is really quite simple.
I want you to live your life – no matter where it takes you – with the everyday foundation of knowing that you matter. Whatever curveballs life throws your way. I want you to move through your days with a strong sense of the impact you have on others, as well. You see, having a strong sense of your own value (or self-worth) will guide you to an understanding of the value found in each and every person you encounter as you journey through life.
And that will always lead you to a very good place.
A good place, most importantly, for your own internal happiness. A good place for every relationship you have (including my favorite – the one you have with me!). And a good place for every passion you pursue.
You are a person of value. Not just to me as your dad – but in this world. You matter.
When you were little, you probably remember me reading one particular Dr. Seuss book over and over to you. It wasn’t because you loved it. It was because I loved it.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no on alive who is Youer than You.”
Believe that. I sure do.
This memory is part of a series of stories I’m sharing during the months of May and June – highlighting the importance of connecting with our children. These memories are brought to you by the wonderful folks at Kimberly-Clark who have compensated me for my writing. All opinions are my own.