I like how little kids dream. To see how excited they become when they meet a Fireman, Policeman, Baseball Player, Doctor, Nurse, or whatever profession that drives their dream. Then it is fun to see their development and how they play out those dreams of wanting to be in one of those professions.
The other thing I enjoy is being a part of or contributing to those dreams. Last year, I sent a child-sized astronaut suit to a friend’s little son to enhance his dream of being an astronaut. Today his dream is to be a Park Ranger and it is fun being a part of that dream by sending things that would enhance and encourage that as well. It is great to hear when that little boy says, “I want to be…..”
My parents encouraged my dreams as most parents do. Somehow I did not become Carl Yastrzemski or Len Dawson, but I had fun doing the best I could. My mother and father always encouraged my dreams and encouraged me to believe I could conquer and succeed. That is the best part of their love and coaching.
However, I remember in my teens as I was making that turn where the next level of maturity was setting in, we go through many levels, with more to come. It was at this level that my mother recognized the changes and started teaching me, coaching me, and leading me in different ways. Good coaches recognize and do this and Mom was the best. She was ready for my next lesson.
I was ambitious, and I think at some stages we want to impress, wow, and shine to others and especially to Mom and Dad. But I remember discussing some choices on the direction in my life and asking my mom, “Mom, what would you want me to be when I grow up?” Mom answered, “An example.” This confused me. Is an “example” some type of job position I am unaware of?
Mom saw my confusion and simply said what other great mothers feel and teach. “My son, I will love you unconditionally no matter what you do. I pray you choose wisely, and that you are always safe. But what I want most, is that in whatever you decide and become, that you are a good example to others. That is what would comfort me. This, I believe is your responsibility in life.”
Wow, at first I thought that sounded like a lot of pressure. But as time went by and with more conversations with Mom, I understood what she meant. She wanted me to be a good example as a son, brother, father, employee, leader, believer, and yes, even in defeat. She always said, “Others are watching, let others learn from what they see. Marcos, even if you have done something wrong, I want you to be an example of how you accept the consequences but especially how you correct yourself.” Over time each of us may realize how true this is.
So today, as I lead, I will try to be a good example to those I am leading. I will work to be a good employee, a good man, and hopefully good in the other categories as well. Today, if I am a good example, I have accomplished my mother’s dream for me.