My oldest son, Middleton, was born on July 4th in Washington DC. A few hours, later fireworks erupted in celebration across our nation—I’d like to think in honor of him.
This year, as his fifth birthday approached, Middleton inquired why July 4th was also called Independence Day. One answer led to another question and another, and me becoming an amateur aficionado of the Revolutionary War.
Around this time, I discovered the soundtrack for Hamilton, which quickly moved to the top of my iTunes playlist. So many of the tracks speak to me in different ways: patriot, entrepreneur, writer, African American, public servant, son, husband and father.
In the months, weeks and hours leading up to Election Day 2016, I was increasingly drawn to the sentimental ballad “Dear Theodosia.” In it, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton sing to their daughter and son, respectively, about all the hopes and dreams they have for them but also our country. The lyrics and melody convey the fear and vulnerability inherent with fatherhood and leadership.
Thinking Good is a product of not only my hopes and dreams, but also my fears and vulnerabilities. Every day since becoming a father—and a husband two years earlier—I endeavor to be my better self. Not just for my family, but also for my colleagues, community and country. I’ve made a million mistakes. Some days I think I know what I’m doing, others not so much. At times, I feel isolated and alone, but ultimately I am not.
Within my network of friends, mentors and mentees, there’s usually someone who’s wrestled with the same or similar challenge. But not always, and in those moments I turn to Google or YouTube. With enough time and patience wading through the muck, I usually stumble across what I’m seeking or something close.
At Thinking Good, we break through the clutter, with quality content and resources that inform and inspire. We are a community committed to being our better selves, for ourselves and those we encounter in our lives, regardless who they might be. We are not afraid to admit our imperfections or that sometimes we need a helping hand. As my Nana likes to say, “if you see a turtle sitting atop a fence post, know that turtle didn’t get there by itself.”
As a father, I am charged with nurturing my sons into emotionally mature, intellectually curious and self-confident men who will thrive and make positive contributions to their families, communities and nations. And as their father, I am also charged with ensuring that our country is a place where their dignity and self-worth is reaffirmed and their potential is only limited by their imagination and ability to make it a reality.
As Burr and Hamilton sing in the final stanza:
I shed a few tears listening to this song when I thought the outcome of the election would go one way, and I shed a few more when I realized it had gone the other.
Interested in more inspiring and empowering stories about Fatherhood? Check out these posts:
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