Jun 12, 2023 in Life Coaching

A Boy and his father

This is a great story for when your kids are driving you crazy! It is a journey for us all!

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What does it mean to be selfish? Is it good? Bad? Neutral? I say it can mean all three things. Let us start with is it good? I think that it can be…Everyone needs time for themselves, to rejuvenate, recharge and basically putter around. It is a very healthy thing to do. Taking care of oneself makes it easier for you to take care of others. It has been said that before you can be of service to others you have to serve yourself; like in an airplane when the stewardess tells you to put on your oxygen mask first.

Is selfishness bad? It can be when it harms someone else or deprives them of something that they need or hurts them emotionally. Here’s a couple of examples:

  1. Sherry’s sister gets a good grade on her report card and their parents praise her. Sherry gets mad because she wants her parents to praise her and only her. So, she tells them about something naughty that her sister did, so they won’t think her sister is “perfect.”
  2. I have had three cookies today and suddenly I see that there is only one left. I know that my husband hasn’t had any, I send him on an errand and eat the last cookie, while he is gone.

Is selfishness neutral? I think it can be when it does not really affect anyone or harm them. Take the cookie example, what if I was single or my husband doesn’t really like cookies. If I eat the last one, does it hurt anyone but my waistline?

  1. Here’s another example: I can get the COVID vaccine, and my sister isn’t eligible to get it yet-If I get it, because I can, does that make me selfish? Maybe a little bit ,because after all, I could have waited until she could get it too.
  2.  My last example is, setting boundaries-is it selfish or not? Good, bad, or neutral? I think it is neutral.

So, selfishness-what do you think? Is it good? Bad or neutral? I think that it is all three depending on the situation.


A Boy and His Father

Once upon a time there was a boy and his father, when the boy was ten years old, he asked his father, “Daddy, how do I become a man?” The boy’s father thought to himself and after a long silence, he said “Be kind and honest.” The boy sat there and thought for a long time and, then he jumped up and ran off to his room.

The next day, when he was at school eating his lunch, he saw a little girl sitting there and she was alone, she was crying. The boy got up and went over to where she was.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. She said, “My friends made fun of me because I don’t have enough money for lunch.” The boy said, “I don’t have any money, but my mom packed a big lunch for me, and I can’t eat all of it, do you want some?” She shyly nodded.

They sat together and shared his lunch. They talked about all kinds of things and then they told each other what they wanted to be when they grew up, she wanted to be a movie star and he wanted to be a firefighter.

A few years went by, and the boy was sixteen. He saw that his father was working in the garage. He went over there and said, “Dad, what does it take to be a man?” His father thought about it for a while and he said, “A man sticks up for people who can’t stick up for themselves. A man conducts himself with honor, and strength.” The boy sat down and thought about it for a long while and then walked off.

Later that day, the boy and his friends went for a drive. They were going to the store to buy treats for a movie they were going to see later. When they got to the store, they saw a beautiful girl who was about their age. She was slowly walking up and down the aisles. He walked up to her and said “Hello, it’s been a while. How are you?” and they got into a conversation. While they were talking, she picked up a can of tuna fish and stuck it in her pocket. He went back to his friends, and they were light heartedly teasing him about talking to the beautiful girl.

They picked up their treats and headed to the register. The girl was ahead of them in line and all she had with her was a loaf of bread. The clerk looked at her and said, “Is that all you have, Miss?” She said “yes” and was reaching for her money. She paid for the bread and started to leave the store. When she got to the door, two men came from the back office of the store and grabbed her by the arms.

“You will have to come with us,” they said. Then they started to lead her to the back of the store. The boy got out of the line and hurried to catch up with them.

“Excuse me!” he said to the men, “Where are you taking her?”

“Back to the manager’s office to wait for the police.” They said.

” Ooh! This is about the tuna, isn’t it?” the boy said as he stepped in front of the door to the office.

“Step aside son, this is none of your business.” They replied.

“There has been a mistake” the boy said. “You see, I dared her to try and steal it. I teased her and teased her until she did it. She was not really going to walk out the door with it.” The boy said.

“So do you mean to tell me that this was some kind of prank?” they asked.

“Yes,” said the boy. “It’s really my fault.”

They turned to the girl and let go of her arms and said she could go and warned her about the dangers of peer pressure. The girl turned to leave, and no one saw the tears sliding down her face and no one heard the growling of her stomach. The two men then escorted the boy to the back office and called the boy’s father.

Ten years pass and the boy is twenty-six. He goes over to his parent’s house to visit with his dad. He asks his dad, “Dad what does it take to be a good family man?” His Dad says, “Always listen to what your wife has to say and find a way to make her glad she married you. Always make time to be with your children, play with them, listen to them, and learn from them.”

 He hung out with his dad for a few hours and then drove home, all the while thinking about what his dad had said.

Now, forty-years had passed. The boy had always been close to his father and now his dad who had always been so strong and loving, lay dying. The boy went to his bedside and said, “Dad, you were always such an inspiration to me. You always made me think about what it is to be a man. Are you proud of the man that I turned out to be?”

The boy’s father was silent for a while and then he said, “Son, I have watched you grow over the years. You watched out for the girl who had no money to eat, you stood up for people who had no voice or the courage to stand up for themselves. I have seen you with your wife and children, who you always made time for even when you were exhausted. I couldn’t have been prouder of you in your journey to becoming the man you are today. Son (he reached over and took the boy’s hand), I could not be prouder of you! You have become the man, I longed to be.”

After their visit the boy drove home, crying because he knew it would be the last time, he saw his father alive. When he reached his home, he sat in his garage, trying to pull himself together. Slowly, he got out of his car and went into his house. He opened the door and stepped into his home. The little boy that he and his wife had adopted last year, ran up to him and said, “Daddy, I love you” Then the two of them walked to the boy’s room. Once he was tucked into bed, he looked up at his Dad with love and admiration and said, “Daddy, How do I become a man?”

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