Monday, March 15, 2010

Brother's Keeper

The greatest gift you can pass on is confidence.

My Father has it.  He puts family first and integrity before all else.  He gives of himself till there's no more left to give.  Then he gives some more.

He taught me that a real man is bigger than himself.

My Uncle has it.  He's at ease with, but aware of, a gentleman or a ruffian.  Equally adept with a wardrobe or a wrench.  An everyman who can talk the talk with all walks of life, but is quick to chin check anyone who oversteps their bounds.

He taught me that a real man is prepared.

My older Cousin has it.  His joy is contagious. He laughs and smiles like the world is his playground.   But he is all man, and commands a man's respect. Directly, honestly, and without compromise.  You can see it in his children.

He taught me that a real man appreciates life for all its worth.

My Friends might have it.  They are grounded in themselves and open to what the world has to offer.  They demand respect, not out of fear, but what they can offer back just by being who they are.  I keep those ones the closest.  They remind me of my Cousin.

TV might have it.  I favored the ball players who left as much of their hearts on the floor as points on the board.  Men who fought to win and never backed down from anyone. They reminded me of my Uncle.

My bosses might have it.  They taught me the importance of  playing the game.  I'd follow those who did the necessary effectively, but brushed off any who put those things before integrity.  My father taught me better.

I hope I live up to the men that raised me.  My unborn children would fair well.

For now, I try my best.  If only for my Brother's sake.