Passing Out or Passing On

Let’s face it, most guys go through some kind of phase in their progression for childhood to adulthood, in which there is some sowing of their “wild oats.” I’m about to polarize a bunch of people right now with this next comment so hang on.

I don’t necessarily see this oat sowing, as a bad thing either. Ok, just write the email to me and then delete it…I’m not gonna read it, but getting it off your chest will help you feel better.

As we go through life, for many the best lessons are those we learn through hardship and/or adversity vs. ones that are just told to us. Don’t believe me? Go ask your parents if they ever told you not to touch something hot on the stove or fresh out of the oven because it was hot.

Next, ask them if you ever didn’t listen to them and had to touch it for yourself just to find out. I will bet next to anything you did, and I will also bet from that point on you were much more careful about touching hot things when you were warned. We all have those things we must experience and learn in life for it to sink in.

We also have those who love us and want to see the best for us, speaking into our life in hopes that maybe we don’t make the same mistakes they did. At some point, we must transition from the college days of keggers and passing out to passing on. Passing on is imparting the knowledge we have experienced and continue to experience in our walk though, this life, as well as the knowledge others, who have spoken into our lives.

Recently I was struck by how important this can be and how fleeting some of our knowledge is. I was reading about storage of carrots of all things and it talked about how the best way to store them long term was stacked between layers of wet sand. Thinking I had some good information to pass on, I called my mom to tell her of this interesting fact. However, she was able to finish my sentence for me and replied…”oh yeah that’s old school there.”

I had no idea she possessed this knowledge and she didn’t find it relevant to share with me. If you stop and think about this a little, it should strike you as concerning. Not concerning that I didn’t know how to store carrots, but concerning that knowledge or information can be completely lost or forgotten within 1-2 generations if there is not an active passing on of this information. As men raising boys, there are things that make us different, unique qualities to us as men.

Hopefully, by now you are to the point where the passing out is done – but don’t forget the importance of passing on to the next generation. The passion, skills, and knowledge you possess is important and should be passed on. If not for the knowledge part, an even more important reason is the time spent apart. Time spent with your son/children as a father is one of the most sought after and precious things you could ever pass on. Remember they are waiting and watching…either Stand Up or Step Aside.