What Do I Give My Son, That I Never Had?

Posted: July 23, 2013 in LIFE
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Jaxen and Dad

By Jason Sutcliffe

My son is asleep and I stare at him trying to figure out what it is that I am going to give him that I never had. You know the goal of every parent. I myself had great parents both of them were there for me all the time, sometimes admittedly too much. They stayed together and provided me with solid and stable home life and attended anything I ever did and supported me the whole way cheering and clapping.

So, as I sit here gazing at my son while he sleeps I ask myself what are you going to give him that you never had. It seems like it will be a tough enough task to give him all the things I did have.

If there is one thing that I would like to give him it is a real life education. Not the one you get from books in a classroom, but the one that saves you from becoming a self-righteous, entitled brat, and motivates you to work harder than everyone else, the one that helps you realize the wonderful opportunities that are available to you just by being born in North America, that is the education I want to give my son.

When my son is in high school and the teacher is trying to explain the importance of the sacrifices that our soldiers made during the two world wars, I want my son to be able to say that he has been to France and stood on the Normandy beaches where the D-Day battles were fought.

When people talk about art I want my son to be able to describe what it is like to look up the beautifully painted work of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, while he was in Italy during our family’s travels through Europe.

When people take for granted the opportunities we have in our beautiful country, as we usually do. I want my son to remember the places he has been where those same opportunities are not even an option for their citizens, nor are they even fathomable. I want my son to know what it is to be truly blessed with the freedom and opportunities to be anything he wants to be, and how he should chase those dreams and work as hard as he has to simply because he can.

It took me way to long to realize that a good life was not owed to me but was an opportunity granted to me if I was willing to work for it. I walked through life  giving a half-assed effort in almost everything I did. I never put in the required extra work to succeed at anything I wanted to do in life—period. I can honestly say for the most part I behaved as though the world owed me a good life, like I didn’t have to work hard, that things were just going to work out because, I deserved it.

I want my son to see first hand that there are places in this world where people don’t even get the opportunity to achieve greatness, and the fact that he has had that opportunity granted to him means he has an obligation to pursue it. He owes it not to himself but to all those people who would give their left arm for that same opportunity.

That is what I want to give my son, a real education, and to remove the ignorance and sense of entitlement from his life.

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