I often question the decisions I have made, and continue to make, as a husband, father, friend and businessperson. Was I too demanding on my girls as they grew up about what time to come home and who to date or hang out with? Did I lean too much toward making sure a customer was satisfied and asking my employees to push that extra hour or two?
Books on leadership and different approaches to making better decisions are common. When I was married, I read the book “The 5 Love Languages.” I guess I should have read that book several times, because I ended up getting divorced. I also read books on topics like how to discipline your children without spanking (but clearly those authors never attempted to change a diaper in the backseat of a minivan while it was moving!).
We’re all searching for answers to problems that, ultimately, require us to take responsibility for ourselves. We also live and learn. One lesson I learned over the years, and often shared with my daughters, was to never say never. I’ve had to eat the word “never” several times over. Something else I was known to say: “I’m not going to be like my mom or dad.” I was lucky enough to have a father and mother who lived enough of the correct answers as parents to provide me with their footprints to follow.
After 62 years of living, reading numerous books and watching self-help videos, I’ve made — and avoided — some of my parents’, and close friends’, decisions. And now I ask myself this question, which may be difficult for some individuals to understand and act on: What action would I take, or decision would I make, if I were the one who would receive the consequences?
As I reflect on that question I think about my precious Abbie, who was one of five Georgia Southern nursing students who lost their lives in April 2015 due to a distracted driver. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. I, and the team at Abbie DeLoach Foundation, encourage individuals, students and organizations to join our #handsfreeforabbie campaign by visiting the handsfreeforabbie.com website and taking the pledge to never drive distracted.
Our choices have an impact on not only us, but also those around us. During this Easter season, may we celebrate and remember the one who chose to die for us and our decisions so we could have the hope of a brighter future.
Forgive and forget, forever.