This weekend was Memorial Day and like most folk in the nation, it was spent with family. Not just those who you have a genetic marker with, but others who you consider family through experiences and friendship. As a dad raising my son, and at times his friends, I have gotten to see how the next generation’s lives start to shape up. As I have my son who looks towards his future life with a woman who is his world. I have another raised son who servers his country, and yet another who takes on a leadership role where so many others are scared to do. It’s our calling to strive on the path we choose.
This weekend I drove up to Kah Nee Ta resort for the Oregon DeMolay Conclave. Here I was able to see a boy I saw grow up, only to start his next step in life as the Master Councilor or Oregon DeMolay. What amazed me was the speech he gave when he stepped up into the position which blew me away. People growing up use every excuse to avoid responsibility. They see every failure as a reason to never try again. They carry self-doubt while saying…”OH…someone else will be better then I ever could do.“ Doug surpassed all of that and spoke about something most forget. He spoke the truth. He hid nothing about the troubles he grew up with. He did not shy away when fear and failure beat him down. He found a calling to be better and to know that when everyone comes together. Things get done. But what got me the most was he understood what best friends are there for, and how others treat people around them makes the difference. How an open door or a late night Shari’s visit just to talk can change the events of someone’s life. It begins with a handshake, a smile and an honest concern for another human being.
As a parent I get to see many things. I am lucky to be able to do so. As these boys look into their next step in life. Either it be a husband, serving ones country or future Governor of Oregon (Doug, you have my vote) I am amazed in the growth I see in these young men. I know ma is no longer around to continue to see this on earth. But I know she too is proud. For all those out there, please look and see if any local youth groups could use your support. Boy/Girl scouts, Civil Air Patrol, DeMolay, Rainbow, Jobs Daughters, any other youth focused group. Your support can mean the world to them. It does make a difference, and when you get to see it come to full light. You couldn't be more proud of what they will achieve.