Who Are You?

Posted by Frankly Francis on November 24, 2009 under Personal | 3 Comments to Read

True story.  A good story?  I hope so.  It works for me so I thought I’d share:

A few years ago.  Out with a few guys for dinner/drinks.  It is work related, but social.  I’m low man on the totem pole.  We end-up at main guy’s house for a last soda…or many.  Sitting outside.  Fire going.  Mondo stars.

One of the guys looks at the rest of us and asks, “If you could only tell your children one thing, what would it be?”  Conceivably, not a light-weight question…

…If you could only tell your children one thing, what would it be?”

Being the restrained guy that I am, I instantly blurted out, I would tell them, “Just be who you are!”  The words were leaving my lips and I was listening to them.  Just came out of me.  Like a spontaneous combustion response.

Had time to think about it and, I stand by it.

There are lots of things to say to our children.  All kinds of advice to give.  The passing on of life lessons is important.  Active parenting is critical.  However, for me what’s paramount is not deciding my kids’ way, but being there to help guide them on the pathway of their own choice.

I trust that as a parent (and myself, as an individual) I have lived-up to that.

I’ve seen too many people transformed into something they are not.  So many that are what others want them to be.  So many that are not fulfilled in their employment.  So many that are not what they really wish for themselves.


Just Be Who You Are

Who else can you really be anyways?



  • Dan Klawitter said,

    Perfect bit of advice. I’m curious what the others in the group came up with that night.

  • Chris Kinkade said,

    My Dear Francis, I probably am the last guy to be able to give advice on what to tell kids since I was never blessed with having any. But I will say this; having had the pleasure of knowing you for most of my life I know you to be one of the most truly authentic people I have ever known. You have never been anything but real and have always been 100 percent honest about it, no apologies. That’s what I love about you.

    Having had the pleasure of being in the presence of your 3 amazing daughters I can see where that essence has been passed on as each one is also incredibly authentic and unique in their own right (I give your darling Debbie equal credit in this outcome, bless her.)

    As I have gotten older I have made it a point to surround myself with people like this. I don’t have to agree with them on all the issues but I must respect them and feel that the foundation of their personality is based on the self respect that comes with knowing who they are and presenting that to the world without apology or pretense.

    As I head into the future I am amazed at how many people I can say have held that standard and how many great experiences I have had as a result of watching them and learning from their individual uniqueness. This for me is love. When we are who we are without artifice we are truly ourselves. Some get there sooner than others but what a joy it is to come to this realization no matter how long it takes. Judging by the beautiful nature of 1, 2 and 3 they came to this early, no doubt having had wonderful parents who let them become themselves while providing an environment of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard.

    Well done my friend, well done.

  • Steve said,

    That’s great advice . . .

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