In my book Football Flyboy there are a lot of life lessons for everyone. You get to learn about marriage, sibling love and rivalry, work ethics, and even food – yes, you read that right, you will learn how to cook some tasty family recipes.
Many life lessons are taught through stories, that get passed down from generation to generation. It’s how we learn about our heritage and life. Which is why I decided to write Football Flyboy.
Here are the 5 lessons we can learn from Football Flyboy.
Take responsibility for yourself.
To be a great leader means that you start with a deep sense of personal responsibility. Even at the end of his life “There were no loose ends to wonder what to do with. Everything was in order. He had things prepared for Mom for the rest of her life.” He passed on this sense of responsibility to me by simply not offering to “fix” my mistakes. I was left to figure out how to get myself out of the mess that I made.
That means don’t act proud or arrogant. In other words, don’t be a jerk. It goes along with self-sacrifice. This isn’t to say that Dad wasn’t self-assured, because he was definitely a bigger than life kind of guy. Because of his confidence, he could be intimidating, but he never thought of himself as better than others. We get to see this in the way he treated others especially his relationship with his friend Gaines. He not only helped Gaines but took the time to know him and spend time in his home on the poor side of town.
Make sure you have a good work ethic and don’t be lazy. Sometimes you have to work two jobs to make ends meet. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. This also went hand in hand with being a good steward with what you have. “Money did not get wasted. On vacation, we had a “pot,” and when the pot ran out, it was time to go home.” Cash was Dad’s motto. I was raised that if I wanted something, then I needed to work for it. Nothing came “free” for the Cannon family.
Don’t waste anything, not even a green bean. If you buy it, eat it. I remember my mom saving foil. She cleaned it off, folded it, and reused it. A lot of this mentality came from living through the depression. But I think about our lives and how much we could learn from this generation. My husband has six drills because he never can find his because he never puts things back where he found them. Dad on the other hand “didn’t need to buy screws or nails because he had organized jars full to use for any project.”
Love isn’t enough to sustain a marriage. It is a commitment that will get you through the tough times. Make your word be your oath. You said you would commit, now do it. In the chapter “Happiest People,” we get to feel what commitment consists of. Love is knowing the other person’s warts and looking past them. Real happiness is found by respecting the views of your mate to live within each other’s tolerances. The last line of his letter was the glue that held their marriage together, “You and I are inseparable.” He said it and he meant it.