“Which way does a tree fall? It falls the way it leans, be careful which way you lean.” (The Lorax Movie) This is one of my favorite sayings. It is a clear message to not only our youth today, but anyone faced with a decision that can impact others around them. My oldest son came home from his fire science class yesterday and said he was talking to a fellow classmate about their futures. He asked my son if he thought he was going to be a fireman and my son said he was definitely interested. When my son asked his classmate the same, the other boy’s response was that he wasn’t sure because his dad is a very successful businessman and was furious that he took the fire science class. His dad had apparently offered his son to work for him where he could make a lot of money. Why is it that parents do this to their children? They want better for them? They want more their kids than what they had/have? But what are we teaching our kids and what kind of message is being sent when we say that money is the first priority for happiness? I’ve so often told my own children that I want them to first be happy. Life is too short to do what I want them to do or what they think would make me happy. I don’t want that. If they could find their passion and find a way to make it their living, then they’ll never work a day in their lives. But instilling morals is easy. You start young and hope that whatever you may have planted at a young age has had the chance to take root and grow as they do. The hard part is that you can’t change their personalities. They will choose their own paths, pick their own friends, and ultimately, make their own choices, hopefully with a conscience. Assuring our kids have a moral compass and choose the right path, not just the easiest, is one of the most important things I can do for them before they are out in the world on their own. At least if they fall, I know they were leaning in the right direction and will get back up. My message to all children is, dream! And dream big! Lean towards always doing what is right, even if it’s the hardest path, never laugh at another’s expense and be kind to others. Everyone has a story and what you see on the outside is merely a shell of a possibly battered human being on the inside. Lean in the right direction and no matter how hard the wind tries to blow you down, if you are rooted with strong beliefs & morals, it will be one heck of a fight to get you to fall.
Til next week….which way do you lean?