I am a son and father. What have I inherited and what would I like to pass on?
—This is article #69 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys
I have been thinking about resurrecting an idea for a series of interviews I had many years ago. The series would entail interviewing a father to explore what kind of legacy the interviewee’s father has left him and, in comparison, what kind of legacy the interviewee would like to leave for his own children. The interviewee would be encouraged to explore the legacy he has received and the legacy he would like to leave by focusing on four areas: an object, a value, a belief and a passion.
In thinking it through, I decided to give it a go myself. So here are the legacies my father has passed on to me (he is still alive, by the way, so there is plenty of time for these to change!):
- My dad has taken many photographs over the years and each one evokes memories – mostly of happy times. I can even remember the cameras some of the pictures were taken with.
- This has to be the importance of serving others. For all of his life my father has served people, through his profession as a probation officer, his work in the church and in various community leadership roles. Doing things for others motivates me too.
- My dad believes in God and is a committed follower of Jesus Christ. I grew up seeing the evidence of this in his life, as his belief was not just a private affair but motivated and affected every area of his existence.
- He loves football, and he managed football teams I played for from when I was eight years old until I was 18. As a consequence I love playing football too, and I cannot imagine a time when I won’t play the game in some way.
And the legacies I hope to leave my children are:
- I try not to place too much value on objects, but I would like my children to cherish my wedding ring. It is a relatively cheap and plain band of gold, but what it symbolises is profound.
- I hope I show my children that the best way to show care for others is by listening to them. You also learn a lot by using your ears.
- Just as my father has passed his belief in God onto me, I would like my children to believe in Him too – and for it to be a belief that is in their hearts as well as their heads.
- There is a line in the film ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance’ which goes ‘God is happiest when His children are at play’. I would like my children to see how much I relish my pastimes, such as football, golf and swimming, and delight in their own hobbies too.
How about you? What have you inherited from your father or a father figure? What would you like to leave for the next generation? I would love to hear your thoughts.
—Picture credit: Memekiller
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