Have you ever sat and thought about how it is that you received the knowledge that you have? Ok yes, school has something to do with it. But what about swinging a hammer and hitting the nail instead of your finger. Throwing a baseball. Kicking a soccer ball. rewiring a home theater system. You have the hands on knowledge because someone showed you how to do it. Some of the experiences can range from basic to advanced.
My dad taught me how to do projects around the house. Even at one point he took me along in the process of working on his truck. We changed the oil. Put on new brake pads. We even went to the extremes of pulling the engine out of that ’78 Chevy Pickup and rebuilding it. I am sure that at some point as a young guy (3rd grade or before) my dad taught me how to throw a football. But I specifically remember the neighbor across the street showing me the fundamentals of how to throw a good spiral; and to lead a receiver.
I can go from item to item that I can do, and the roots are with family and friends who taught me how to do the things that I do. Some of the things I had been taught were instilled into at a young age; and it even lead to a job at Kensington Community Church.
So, why do I say all of this? The other night I was sitting around with some good friends (Seth Stark, Eric Wolfe, and Ryan McCullough) and we talked about taking a journey together to help prepare our kids for the life ahead. We specifically talked about our sons and teaching them what it means to be a man, gentleman, good friend, great husband, wonderful dad, and a man of God. As we did this, we all had the same realization; we are where we are because of family members and other people in our lives. We were taught many things about life and how we should act, interact, and live. While ever scenario wasn’t perfect (and most of them are not), we began to see that we were pointed in the direction that we are at.
Malcolm Gladwell, writes in Outliers, about this exact type of situation with a young boy names Alex Williams. His mom always taught him to speak confidently, question people (even if they are in authority) and don’t hold back. There was one story specifically that stuck out to me. As they were in the doctors, Alex’s mom told him to think of questions to ask the doctor. He thought of a few questions and when the doctor began sharing other information, Alex piped in to ask more questions. What his mom was doing was teaching him not to be intimidated by people in a higher level of influence and to be confident in himself. It brought him a level of healthy entitlement that I am sure will greatly impact his future. (pg 101-108)
This leave us in a place that we are the ones to guide our kids. A duh statement isn’t it. This should be the role of the parent but it often isn’t. It is much easier to change a light switch on my own, but it carries a new level of influence on my son and daughters, when I team them how to do it with me. This weekend I took on such a task and pulled my son along with me as we changed a few light switches and installed 2 new ceiling fans. Every step that I had to take, I had him go with me and I talked through the whole process. He gleamed from ear to ear as he then taught his sisters on how to wire a new light switch and take out the old light. (with the breaker off of course!!)
So, here is where I leave you with a challenge. No matter the age of your kids, teach them something new this week. Teach them what you do, what you enjoy doing in your spare time, and let them journey with you.
If you don’t have kids, find one. Look for a nephew, niece, neighbor, etc.. and you’ll be shocked at what type of impact that makes on them! (and on you)
They will get to where they are going because we will teach them how to…
From me.. I say thank you to my Dad for showing me so much that I know how to do and love! To my grandfathers for showing me how to camp, fish, and enjoy the outdoors. To the Steele Boys from Marquette Heights for showing a 3rd grader how to throw a football. To Keith Hoerr and Jerry Smith, for messing me up as a teenager (in a good way) and leading me to a passion in sound, production, cycling, and investing in youth. Sid & Deb Partridge for being second parents to me and I blame all my GEEKINESS on sid!!! and the list goes on… Love you all and Let’s keep learning!!