It was a strange call, one that I will never forget.
“Dad, you never tried to steer me in any direction,” he said.
“I am not sure I understand,” I replied. “What are you trying to say? What do you mean?”
“You never tried to influence me to follow any specific career. I told you I wanted to be a filmmaker and you never said anything against it; you never tried to change my mind.”
“Hum,” I mumbled in puzzlement, trying to make sense of what I was hearing. “Have I done something wrong?” I asked.
“Well, you see… my friends here in college… their parents… they all push them to go to the Law, Business, or Medical School, but you, you never told me to do any of that.”
“Yes, that’s true,” I said.
“Are you really OK that I want to be a filmmaker?” he asked, with some hesitation in his voice, almost begging for reassurance.
I felt it was time to make things clear… “Son, listen to me… I am here to help you pursue your dreams. That’s my role. Period. It doesn’t matter to me what you do, as long as you are doing what makes you happy, and you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else on the journey. All I want is for you to be happy.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do to get my approval. You don’t have to prove anything to me. I know you well. I know who you are, and I am enormously proud of you and your achievements. You and your brother are fantastic human beings, much better than I am, and I admire both of you immensely.
Listen to me: life is too short. I’m going to say it again: life is too short. I don’t want you, some decades from now, to look back at your life and regret not having responded to your inner calling. I just want you to follow your bliss, and have fun doing what excites you and what you are good at, because if you do just that, everything will be fine. Do what you love, and do it the best you can.
Everyone is different, and everyone has unique contributions to give to the world. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s footsteps; you must create your own path. By doing what you love and what you do best, you will be successful.
My only request is for you to continue to be who you already are: a compassionate man who brings happiness to others, and who uses his talents and skills to make the world a better place. Ask yourself, ‘How can I serve?” Continue to love, care, and share the way you do. That’s it. That’s all.
Be happy! To see you happy is what makes me happy, and is what will make a lot of people happy as well. Happy people bring happiness to the world. Have fun, enjoy life, help others, and know that that you are loved.
I will always love you.”
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman
Let’s stay in touch.
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Take a look at my books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”