“Well son,” the Father said, “today is a big day for you. Your Mother and I have just opened up an Account for you.”
The boy looked up at them, “…an Account?”
“A place where you store things of value, assets. This Account is a Personal Responsibility Ownership Understanding and Determination Account, P.R.O.U.D. for short.”
“What is it for?” the boy asked.
“It is where you will collect your Pride.”
“What is Pride?”
“Pride,” the Father went on, “is the result of your efforts at becoming responsible for your words and actions, taking ownership of your life, understanding the challenges you face, and showing great determination in overcoming them. Now you are not so proud, but you are also young. Pride, real Pride – not false self-glorification – is something you will need to earn. That is why we have started this Account for you.”
“How does one earn Pride?”
“Life will provide you with many opportunities and the choices you make in light of those opportunities will help earn your Pride.”
“I don’t understand,” the boy shook his head.
The father smiled. “Well, for instance, you will find yourself in situations where it is easy to use your words like a weapon, to destroy another. The urge to do so will be great, but making the choice to hurt someone is always a serious one and it seldom earns you Pride. On the other hand, you can choose to use your words like a wand, to create wonder in people’s lives, to rebuild where others have destroyed. Your efforts will be great if you choose to do this, for it is not an easy task; however, those efforts will be rewarded with a token of Pride.”
The boy sat quietly, looking intently at his father. The father went on.
“There will be moments in your life when your actions will seem those of another and you will look back with shame at your lack of accountability. Pride will come from the other moments, when your actions are yours and yours alone. Other times, you will feel regret, despair, a hunger for another life. When that happens, you must take ownership of your life and respond to that regret by wasting no time on what is lost and gone, but on building what is to come; you must counter the hopelessness of despair with the confidence of achievement; and you must feed your hunger for another life by creating the one you want. That will all earn you Pride.”
“And the challenges?” the boy asked.
“Ah, the challenges,” the Father said as he put his arm around his son. “At first glance, the challenges seem to be the tricky ones but they’re not. The key is to take the time to understand why and how they impact you. Challenges always shine in areas of our life that need to be strengthened. Use your challenges as a beacon to show you how you need to grow. ”
“How will that earn me Pride?”
“Every challenge you face and every effort you make to overcome it, will fill your account with Pride.”
“Why do I even need this Account?” the boy asked. And he was right to ask, for it seemed like a great deal of work to earn all of this Pride.
“This Account is important, son, because at the end of the day, it is the Pride you have earned what will enable you to live with your weaknesses, for you will know that you are empowered to overcome them. It is Pride what will give you the strength you need to choose the right words and actions. It is Pride what will enlighten your challenges and give you the motivation you need to move past them. Pride is the badge you will wear when you are honored to be yourself and that is your most valuable asset.”
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