By David Williams
“Dad, its cold outside.”
My son informs me of the current weather conditions as if it was news to me.
“So?” I replied. “Charlie doesn’t care anything about it being cold outside.”
My son has heard me refer to Charlie many times. Although Charlie is fictional, I toss his name around as if he is a family friend. It’s one of the few sayings that I got from my dad. I believe my dad picked it up from his time in Vietnam.
I made the mistake of using that term with one of my players during a football game. He was on the sideline, and I needed him in the game. I called his name, and when he appeared, I told him, “Get in there.”
“But coach, my hand,” he replied.
I looked at his hand incredulously. “Son, Charlie don’t care nothing about your hand.”
“Coach, whose Charlie?” the player asked.
“Me, son. Charlie is me. I don’t want excuses; I want results.”
I found myself relaying that same message to my son on this so-called cold day.
“Listen, you need money, and the neighbors have yard work that they need done. So either layer up and earn some money or stay inside and be broke. This isn’t rocket science. The bible says, ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.’
I allowed him to process that information.
“Dad, what are you saying? Are you saying I’m going to be poor?”
“I’m saying that you cannot expect a payday without putting in the work. I’m saying that what person would make excuses about the weather when his or her pockets are empty? The ball is in your court.”
I left it like that.
When I returned home, my son was working on the third neighbor’s yard. He made a $120 by walking out of his house and walking across the yard to inquire if the neighbors needed yard work.
What my son doesn’t understand is that this training isn’t for just for the present but for the future. I cannot allow him to grow up and become a lazy man without purpose. Someday my future grandchildren will be depending on him to man up and provide bread for the table.
The bible describes children as arrows. I interpret that to mean that children should well-trained and prepared to make their mark on the world. I reminded of a poem, “The world doesn’t care if you quit. The world doesn’t care if you fail. A busy world won’t even notice it, no matter how loud you wail.”
I believe those lines were written by Charlie.
Contact David Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.