On September 1, 2022, my 21-year-old son left to go to University 5000km from home. As a father, I am incredibly proud to see him spread his wings and blaze his own trail. It is also a little sad and a lot scary for me as well. When he left, I wanted to give him something that would memorialize this time in his life and serve as a reminder that I will always be there for him. No matter how far he explores, he will always have a home to return to. I bought him this compass as that symbol and had it engraved with “Stay True, Love Dad”. I gave him a handwritten letter explaining the significance of the compass. I explained that a compass represents safety and protection. I reminded him to stay true to who is and the values he has been instilled with. I wrote about the power of leaning on your values to guide you when navigating stormy weather. I shared the guiding question that a friend shared with me. It is one that I regularly use in my quest to become.
“What would the man I want to be, do in this situation?”
I reminded him that life will get difficult; there is no getting around that; however, in my experience, almost everything beautiful is on the other side of something shitty.
As he sets sail on his adventure, I am proud to see many of my values reflected in the man he has become. I am reminded of the importance of modelling the way for others. I am reminded that our words and actions influence the world around us.
The question then becomes, what do we want our influence to be and how do we become intentional about that influence?
So as you set out on your journey this week, I challenge you to reflect on the values that guide you and to become intentional about the kind of influence you want to have on this world.