I plan to write an entry about teams but decided to post this letter first. I was cleaning up my archived files and ran across a September 2007 letter I prepared for my son as he was about to graduate high school. David went to Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, California which prides itself on building character. They asked the parents to write letters for a retreat they had their senior year. So this letter was read during that retreat, along with many others, in September 2007. I asked David and he was fine with my using this in a blog. He indicated it is a good read, even now! Here it is:
I find this difficult to write because it finds you preparing to go out into the world. It feels a bit like a parting shot. For all of the family time, church, and schooling your destiny is now wholly the result of your choices. As your father it is with pride and hope that I watch you move forward into a very different and exciting phase of your life.
So I wish much for you. I hope you face deception with integrity, adversity with courage, and extreme emotion with moderation. I hope you see that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin and that it is only through passion and dedication that true achievement comes. In short, I wish for you to exercise your character in the great wide world.
You have an enthusiastic ‘joie de vivre’ – ‘Joy of Life’ that is precious and true. This ‘Joy of Life’ along with your curiosity, faith, and character give you all you need to chase your dreams. Your grand adventure awaits!
Through it all always remember something. If you ever feel isolated or discouraged or hurt; if the unfairness of life weighs or a colleague cheats or a confidant betrays; if the setback seems like failure or the pain of a loss seems forever – always remember that the good is still true. Always remember that the joy and the love and the need for all the things that character provides are still real.
And always remember that you can come to me anytime to not only share in your victories but also to share in your disappointments and the troubles of the world – I’ll always be a ready ear and open heart – and help from time to time – for, you see, I’m your Dad and although you will be out in the world you can always come to me.