Leadership positions have been a part of my life since I was about 21 years old. I don’t remember ever really desiring to “lead the way” or “be in charge”, it seemed to just naturally happen within a few years of working at the jobs I held. Through the years success was important and an increased salary is always a benefit, but there was one thing I never wanted to loose sight of – “People are more important than projects and things.” Looking over the past two decades there is absolutely no way that I got this right all of the time; however, I continue pursue a life that exemplifies the fact that people are to be valued before any other “thing”. It is my desire to raise children that know how to love and serve others.
Today, I would like to do something different and promote a book that I read a few months ago. The book, Strong & Kind by Korie Robertson, fits perfectly with the vision of Safe and Sound Families; “Intentionally Leaving a Legacy.” I have included an excerpt from pages 22 – 23. If you get an opportunity, pick up a copy of this book and begin to intentionally leave a legacy of Character and Values!
Family is our first look at behavior in a community. To quote my dad, it’s where we should learn “to share and to care” about others. Before every evening meal he would pray that we all “share and care” more each day. It may seem like a small thing, but if we would resolve to share and care more, how much better would our world be? Ideally, we learn how to behave at home and then carry those lessons out into the bigger world…
Back when a household had only one phone, one television set, and one bathroom, sharing wasn’t an option; it was a necessity. Children learned how to get along with others, respect property of others, and be grateful for what they had as a part of daily life for countless generations past, but not so today. Willie and I don’t allow televisions in our children’s bedrooms; however, they do have their own rooms and their own cell phones. Yes, this is America in 2015, and we all live in it. But nothing makes me happier than hearing Sadie and Bella giggling in the bed together as they go to sleep. I love that they want to be together instead of locking each other out of their rooms. We strive to be conscious of the fact that we have plenty and that what we have is a gift to be used wisely and shared generously.
My grandmother says that no one thing is more important than a person’s feelings. Our Howard Family Legacy of Principles for Living (listed in the appendix) states that “people are more important than things.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted this to our children when they’ve come tattling that someone has broken their favorite toy or is blocking their view of the television. This phrase was on repeat in our home during my kid’s younger years, and I hope it has sunk in. We strive to keep “things” in their proper place and never let them become more valuable than people.