“Try, try, and keep trying. It’s all you can ever do in your life!” – Indrani Smith
It’s no revelation that I love my daughter more than I can express in words. Imagine, then, how much my heart swelled when she gave me a little piece of paper out of the blue, with these words on it.
“It’s an IQ for you Dad. It’s one of mine.”
In the moment, I thanked her deeply and shared my excitement and pride with her, while doing my best to keep it together. I promised to use it straight away, for my very next IQ.
As I write this, the tears are starting. (And for context, that’s her in the photo, and she’s all of 7 years old.)
To me, I have no doubt that children possess everything they need to be inspiring, amazing creatures straight out of the womb. They learn like sponges simply by being around their peers, their parents, and their friends. They understand you perfectly, well before they can talk themselves. They learn lessons from your example – both good and bad – just by observation.
Sometimes the big, heavy, obvious lessons you make an effort to drum into them are gone within ten seconds, while the fleeting snippets of a half-heard conversation down the hall will leave indelible marks on their psyche. And later on, they’ll quote you, verbatim, in context as though you’d put the words into their mouth. (Which, in essence, you actually have.)
This experience will either break your heart, or melt it. It depends on what kind of example you set for your children.
I am not a perfect parent. I occasionally set a bad, immature, or irrational example for my kids. I get angry, depressed, anxious, frustrated, emotional, unbalanced, unmotivated, hyper, loud, quiet, introverted, extroverted, happy, sad, conflicted, sensible, ridiculous. Sometimes all of that within a 24-hour period.
But. (And this is a big’un…)
I try. I do my best. I aim to teach Indrani and Rilien values based on what is really important in life – loving and nurturing yourself, spending quality time with family, serving others, being kind and compassionate – by the example I set and the actions I take.
Mostly, I succeed. Sometimes I fail. I’m human, and I make mistakes.
But today, as Indrani handed me that piece of paper, I looked at my wife, and I knew. Today, I succeeded.
What example are you setting? What actions are you taking, that will inspire people in your circles?
I know that’s confronting, but it’s worth it. Here’s a punch on the shoulder, and a side-order of tough love.
Be that positive, inspiring example for others. It’ll make a profound impact on their lives, as well as yours.
With love, as always,