At last, I found the answer to the one burning question that your mother has been asking me repeatedly over the past few weeks. She even stuck a giant post-it note on my desk while you guys are away on vacation in Malaysia.
“What are you teaching your children?”, she wrote. I guess she has always felt that there is a lot that I know which would be beneficial for you both. And I’m guilty of not spending time to impart them to you.
Alright, let me start with my new found mantra for 2012: BE GOOD, DO GOOD.
“Huh? Be good, do good?” You probably wonder, “Where does that come from?” and “What does it mean?”
I suspect it came from the words I wrote some months back, framed in the cheap IKEA picture holder that has been sitting on my desk all this while. It’s kinda funny that sometimes, the answer that we hunt high and low for is staring right at our faces (the same thing happened when I found the love of my life – am saving that story for another day).
OK .. it works like this. I want you to consider this carefully … at some point in your life (may be not at the age of 11 or 13), you will begin to question the purpose of your life, the meaning of your existence, and what on earth are you here for. These are big questions with no easy answers, and I shall not attempt to answer them for you either. But what I want you to remember is that as you strive to discover what holds true for you, consider the following:
You are here to manifest goodness – possibly in ways that are unique to you. Who you become, what you do, how you do it, and who you serve, is all up to you. But above all, be guided by a simple principle: be good, and do good. Being good begins with seeing the GOODNESS in yourself and in others. Look, and you shall see. And when you fully embody the goodness you see, you will naturally do good. Who you are being shapes your doing. It’s as simple as that.
Now, give it a try. You don’t need to wait till existential crisis hits you. Be good, and do good to someone today.
Your Good Dad
Kenny, I wish I could be wiser and can appreciate my children better and have more patience for them (to teach and share with them my experiences). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience and I am sure it will be very helpful for all DADDY(s) in the world who wish to be BETTER DADs. Cheers.
Jackson, thanks for your encouraging note. Sometimes I suspect, our children are here to teach us patience. I learnt that on day one, when the nurse handed me a bottle of milk plus a tiny plastic cup to feed our then 1-day-old Sean (before he learnt to breastfeed properly). 1 hour on the couch, baby in one hand and cup in another … with a ‘life-giving’ mission in mind, I painstakingly performed my first fatherly duty, and got half a bottle through those those tiny lips. The other half simply overflowed to his chin and neck, which I quickly wipe off with slight guilt and anxiety. It was messy, yet unforgettably joyful. Thank God nobody witnessed my incompetence … but PATIENCE took on a whole new meaning for me since. May you find similar joy with your three lovely ‘teachers.’