SAYING SORRY IS TOUGH

Asking for an apology is a tough one.

It becomes tougher when it’s someone younger we are talking about – particularly a son or a daughter.

Coming from a Bible study (Victory small group), I was on a spiritual high that particular morning.
But right when I pulled in our garage, I get a text message from my wife, Jenn:

“Paolo, your son,  accidentally spilled water on the laptop.”

When your wife tells you “your son” and not “our son”, you know there’s trouble.
You parents know what I mean.

I then rushed in the house, picked up the laptop, rushed back out to the car to bring it to the repair shop while my 8 year old son profusely apologizes for the accident.

What did I do next? I ignored him and drove off.

Coming from the computer shop, I sit on the couch. Ryan, my 8 year old comes and in tears profusely asks for forgiveness once again.

I froze.

I didn’t want to say anything, scared that I might say something dumb. At the same time, tension was so thick you can slice it with a butter knife.

Ryan walks away dejected because I wasn’t responding to his expression of regret.

After a few minutes and finding the strength to calm down, I call my son and tells him that he is more valuable to me than the laptop.

I asked him, “You know that, don’t you?”

To my horror, he shakes his head and responds with a ‘no’.

Right at that moment, I get a bonk on my head (of course not literally) from God, telling me what a jerk of a dad I was.

“You jerk of a dad, making your son feel that a piece of gadget is more valuable than him.”

In that instant, I had a choice, I could ignore it and hope that my son forgets about the incident. Or I could swallow my pride, apologize and ask for his forgiveness for the way I reacted.

In and of myself, I probably would’ve ignored the prodding and just went on with life hoping he’d just forget it.

But thank God for His grace, I gulped and talked to my bruised boy that his dad is a jerk for making him feel that the laptop was more important than his feelings.

This was one of the toughest lessons I’ve learned. I still cringe thinking about it, much less, blogging about it.

We think that our kids will lose respect when we go down our knees and acknowledge our mistakes. It’s actually the other way around. Number 1, they already know we’re not perfect. Number 2, they are so forgiving, we will will actually be surprised.

A tough lesson but a good one though.

God help us parent the next generation well.

DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT


My 9 year old Ryan loves sports – from baseball to basketball, and recently, football to ping pong.

The other day, while I stayed with him during his basketball practice, he felt very discouraged because of the team mates he had. Not only that a couple of them were ball hogs, moreover, they would react negatively when Ryan would miss a shot. Because of this, he felt very discouraged.

Sports give a lot of life lessons. It teaches a lot about character and attitude.

Here were the things I shared with him.

1. There will always be people who will discourage you, whether intentionally or inadvertently.

There are those who feel like it’s their calling in life to be negative and discourage everyone they encounter.

2. When someone discourages you, you have a choice if you will allow it to dishearten you or not.

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.

3. Failing doesn’t make you a failure.

Failure is only for those who quit.

He didn’t really feel better right away. Eventually he did. But the words I shared with him was not to make him feel better. It was truth. And it will continue to be true whether in basketball or in life.

What made him feel better later on though was french fries. Haha. French fries or ice cream usually does it for him.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT VALUE

I just watched the video of the move “Moneyball” featuring Brad Pitt.

Fascinating story – a general manager  (Billy Bean) who wanted to change the game of baseball. With a third of the budget of big teams like the Yankees, he usually loses his best players at the end of the season because of better offers.

He, then, tries out a new way to figure out a way to win games without paying big name All Stars. He hires a young Yale grad who studies the statistics and figures out a way to put the puzzle pieces together of what can potentially be a great team.

As a result of getting no names and players baseball teams no longer want, they put together a group of guys who are not All Stars (so it can fit the budget) yet win games. They end up breaking the record of the longest streak of wins in a season – 20 games.

Because of this, he gets an offer from the Boston Red Sox to become their new general manager for the coming season for 12.5 million dollars which would’ve made him the highest paid general manager in the history of baseball.

But all throughout the movie, Billy’s 12 year old daughter worries that if her dad loses his job or moves to another city, she will be further away from him because she’s been living with her mom since the divorce.

The final scene comes to a close with Billy’s daughter sending him a CD of her singing. But before she starts the song, she once again reiterates her fear of being far away from daddy.

Twelve point five million. Better team to manage. Nicer platform. Much better chance of winning a World Series championship.

All these, he dumps because of one value – to be near his daughter.

Commitment is making a choice to give up other choices.

As Brandon Sanderson said, “The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” 

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”  (Stephen Covey)