A little boy sees his father as a hero, but he doesn’t really know him. He only knows that his dad loves him and protects him and is molding him. His father is, in many ways, his whole world, forging him into the person he’ll become.
In our detached sophistication, we can see the truth though. In virtually every case, his father is very ordinary, having accumulated no great wealth, having created no great movement of people, having impacted the world in no obvious great way, having performed in front of no great audience. There is no great hero we can see.
My father is writing a book, and I’ve often asked him why he doesn’t write more about his own life and the great many lessons he’s taught us, when they seem so profound and important. His life, after all, is the example he led that molded us into the people he’s so proud of. “You write books about your life only if you become famous or important,” he says in his own detached sophistication.
It was then I realized the little boy had it right all along. Our sophistication simply clouded the truth he saw so clearly.