Looking back and forward–the New Year

The wise Saint Augustine is known to have said something like, “we live life in the forward but understand it by looking back”.  That can be said as well of all the pieces of our lives, can’t it?

We do something and then look back upon it and sometimes smile with delight and other times cringe with embarrassment.

Although the noisemakers and fireworks are quiet from the New Year celebrations, there is still time to reflect on the past in order to prepare for the future. Looking back, think about how your dadding helped your kids be all they can be. The questions I ask myself are, did I present a good example of what a good man is,  not only to my kids but to all the children I came into contact with? Did I take charge of situations emotionally to prevent them from spiraling down into fights and family discord?  Was I a man for others or only for myself?

I don’t think it is worthwhile to feel guilt if the answer is “yes” to any of these questions. But if the answer is yes, then there is most likely a disconnect between your values and your actions, because anyone reading this blog holds being a good dad as a priority.

Back in the sixties, a very smart guy, Dr. Milton Rokeach, an acclaimed psychologist proved the fact that if we see that our actions are out of line with our values, we will change our actions to be consistent with our values.

I hope you see yourself as a good person and a good dad. Whenever you come across something that you are doing that is inconsistent with that notion, stop and think about how what you are doing goes against what you value. You will find it a lot easier to change your behavior if you realize what you are doing is contrary to what you value.

There used to be a popular poster that you would see here and there that said: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”.  Actually, each moment of our lives is a new beginning.

So let’s all recommit ourselves to the realization that better dads make for better kids and result in a better world for all.  That is what we value so let’s all bring our actions in line with our values.

One thought on “Looking back and forward–the New Year

  1. Dan Conway

    New Year’s resolutions tend to dissolve as the month of January progresses. Fortunately, fundamental values remain. Becoming a better Dad means remaining true to our values even when our resolutions fade.


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