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Great Father Tip #7: The Example of William Wallace

September 27, 2011

Why is the story of William Wallace so compelling?  Why do men get chills when they watch Braveheart?  I think the answer is simple:  Wallace inspired his men through leading by example.  There is something to a leader who not only says “we should do this”, but also grabs the rope and helps pull himself.  We want our leaders to be mythic and above the fray, but we also want them to be fighting by our side.  Wallace was the type of leader who not only provided vision and challenge, but had the courage to fight himself.

Sounds a little like what great fathers do.  We lead by both word and deed, thus inspiring our children to new levels of courage and greatness.   In 2011, it is not enough to say “do as I say, not as I do”.  This is not the 1950s, where compliance and fear of authority ruled the day.  As fathers, we need to walk our talk and lead by example.

You want your kids in shape, get to the gym yourself.  You want your kids to read more, let them catch you with a book.  You want your kids to learn how to forgive, let them hear you say you are sorry.  You want your kids to be great listeners, give them your full attention.  You want your kids to avoid cigarettes and alcohol, don’t have a houseful of that stuff. You want your kids to learn how to dream, then do it yourself.

There is incredible power when our words line up with our actions.  People like William Wallace, Gandhi and Martin Luther King teach us that profound lesson.  These men inspired a generation by being great examples, just like great fathers do.


Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim D permalink
    September 27, 2011 8:25 pm

    Do you have to get your head chopped off to really follow wallace?

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