Hi Townhall Readers- Yes, I know I'm on vacation, but even so I can't but help to spout about stuff. This week I will be taking selections from writings I've written elsewhere regarding life and liberty and sharing them with you.
Don't you feel special now?
Today's selection is a letter I wrote to someone who was coming of age and wanted advice about being a man.
It's not that I think I'm an expert. Far from it. But he thought it helpful and it can serve as a point of discussion for Christmas Day.
Before this last century boys your age were considered men really. They held all sorts of jobs and responsibilities, including general, emperor and king. It is only in the last 80 years or so that we have come up with this idea of being a “teenager” where you are not quite a man but certainly not a child either.
Reject that notion.
In age, outlook and maturity you are certainly ready to take on the responsibilities of being a man. It is this idea of responsibility and how you meet it that makes you a man.
I know several men, so-called, who have shirked their responsibilities and consequently will never be men. They are over-grown boys who never put away childish things, most especially the natural self-centeredness that goes with being a child. I know others that have been men from an early age.
I, myself, was somewhat late in becoming a man. I have therefore, spent a considerable amount of time pondering what goes into adulthood. Here is some of what I have learned:
Firstly, God has put a special responsibility upon you to help and protect those weaker than yourself, those less fortunate than yourself and those in distress. The measure of a man is in how he meets these challenges. A good man treats those around him with kindliness and consideration especially under trying circumstances. I count your father amongst one of the very special examples I have known in meeting this responsibility. You can learn a lot from him. He is more than just a man in my eyes, but what used to be known as a gentleman.
Get ready to be the head of a household. One day you will have a family. I am somewhat old-fashioned in thinking of a man as the head of a household. But I do. It does not however mean the man is the boss of everyone. It consists of accepting the responsibility of making decisions, without any prejudice, for the good of your family; and then being accountable to God for the outcome.
In being a man, happiness is not your prime consideration, although being happy is a good thing to strive for. No, you must strive to be good above all else. Being good consists of living your life in the will of God. That is, you should keep His commandments and conform all of your acts to those laws. Act honorably in all things. Do those things that you say you are going to do, keep your word.
Pray daily. Rely upon God to help you through your daily challenges. Don’t worry about bothering God with problems that may seem too big or too small to you. God is big enough to handle the large problems and the small ones with equal facility. He wants you to come to Him with every problem. So for example, you may find that as a fullback you run a little too high at times (yes, you do, I’ve seen the tape; get lower through the line). This is a problem God would love for you to come to Him with. He will help you with it. Pray daily. Try it. You’ll see.
See who you want to be and then be who you see. Forget about what you think other people may have as expectations for you. You will never really know that for sure.
Rather, be the person you want to be.
Set your goals high, but be happy with trying your best.
Never, ever stop yourself from doing something just because you are afraid of failing. Failures fade. They are soon replaced by new successes. Regret lingers forever.
Lastly, love your country. Believe in the special mission of America. Spend time getting to know the country, its history, its small towns and unexplored byways. Be involved in history by voting, writing letters to the editor and speaking your mind. Try to get elected to some political office once in your life, even if only a volunteer position.
When your heart tells you that your country needs you, respond.
You are quite an amazing man now. I love you very much, and want to thank you for how much you have given me. I am very proud to call myself as always,
Merry Christmas from Townhall Finance. You guys made 2012 another great year and we'll do lots of great things together next year too.
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