This past week, we took our oldest sons to visit my 97 year old great uncle who was a WWII veteran. He is an amazing man and his memory is remarkable. We enjoyed story after story of his life in the war and as a boy. He would begin each one by saying “I wanted to tell you this story….”, and he would embark on another tale. My boys were fascinated as he relished in passing on stories to the next generation.
One story he “wanted to tell” was about his father. He told us that his dad “never gave us kids any money, like a one dollar bill, but he did give me a cotton field.” He then proceeded to tell us about a car he was able to buy with the bales of cotton that he sold from his field.
Ray and I were both struck by the wisdom of that father and encouraged by this missing principle in today’s culture of parenting. What better way to teach our sons to provide for their families than by giving them an entrepreneurial mindset, and teaching them diligence and hard work instead of just giving them a handout.
In the coming days, I’m going to try to figure out a “cotton field” to give to my children instead of just a dollar.