Bill’s father was a college president. He was also regularly called upon to give guest sermons at his church. One sermon Bill remembers clearly was about the power of light overcoming darkness. In the middle of the sermon was a poem Bill’s dad had written and Bill’s son used to recite when he was little. Part of it went, “No deep darkness in the world can overcome the light, a single candle flame will burn against the darkest night.”
How often are we impacted by a negative interaction, a critical opinion, or a rude encounter? And how frequently do we let this darkness overcome the light in our lives by carrying home our disappointment, frustration or anger?
We make impressions wherever we go and whatever we do. They may be unseen by us but the impressions are nonetheless real and important. This is as true at home as it is in the workplace and the community. If it is important for us to make a good impression, operate competently, and perform professionally at work, isn’t it equally important to make a positive impression at home?
The actions we take, words we use, and emotions we express as fathers have a big impact on our children. It is important for us to remember that we are role models for them. And as role models, we should believe that no amount of darkness can overcome the light.
Dealing With Meanness
We often face those dark, negative interactions in our lives with a feeling of resignation. We frequently feel that negative, impolite, and counterproductive behavior is stronger and outweighs all other approaches. We can feel beat down by a dark encounter. And it can seep into our personal lives and impact those around us.
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval co-authored a business book a few years ago entitled, The Power of Nice. In it they state, “We completely disagree with the conventional wisdom that ‘nice guys finish last’ and ‘no good deed goes unpunished.”
We agree. We think niceness can win and its power can have a transformative effect on you and your family. Understand that individuals who are mean, rude, or insensitive operate our of fear, insecurity, or their own sense of hurt that they’ve been unable to overcome. All of us have been hurt. It’s how we deal with it that makes the difference. Some people never get over it. Some move on.
Bringing The Light Home
When you come home from a tough day or a difficult encounter, remove the darkness and reflect light. Focus on the value of your family. Remember their importance in your life and the gift they are to you. Breathe twice before entering your home after a hard day. Think twice before speaking. Remember the importance of your words and actions and the impact they make. Your children are listening… and watching.