Do you remember the poem from the Antionne Fisher movie where he talks about the little boy still inside of him? He had been abandoned by his mom, never knew his dad and grew up in some pretty bad foster homes.
Sometimes, I can really relate to that poem and I remember showing that movie to guys inside of the prison where I volunteered and watching their reaction. Many had tears in their eyes.
I still feel that way when I see movies or stories about fathers and sons. There are tears just beneath the surface waiting to come out.
I felt that way when I saw a picture of my son-in-law and my toddler grandson walking hand-in-hand around a track carrying a basketball. You could see it in their eyes. They enjoyed being with each other. I want that picture hanging in my family picture shrine in my study.
It's the same with two pictures of my son and me taken on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The first was taken fifteen years ago at Stand In The Gap where a million guys got together for a Promise Keepers event. A few weeks ago, we took another picture in the same spot. In the first, he was a newly-minted teenager and in this one he's a married man. And I'm really proud of him.
I can't change what happened to me.
But I can encourage my son, my son-in-law, my grandson, grandchildren to come and other guys with kids.
The real payback in life will come from those moments together where you are talking and caring for each other. It doesn't take a lot, but the effort can change somebody's world.