Notes From Jackson Street: Another letter to the SONS

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By JOHN A. WINTERS, Publisher

I write the SONS of Thunder The Letter on various milestone birthdays or major life changes. The Letter’s themes remain fairly constant. Some things, values, should not change.

Youngest will be graduating from Newnan High School. Where, and what, he does next is undecided. He is an old soul in the truest sense so I am not worried. Middle is taking time off from college. He’s working full time at Smith and Davis Clothing. I envy his employee discount and am proud of how he is getting his footing with this change.. 

As I write this, Eldest is packing up and heading to Texas. Fort Hood to be exact for his first assignment after graduating from Armor School at Fort Benning. 4-9 Cav, 2nd Brigade 1 Cavalry Division, is his new family. 

An appropriate time for The Letter:

Boys,

A few subjects I want to cover with you as you head out on these new adventures:  

Your Name: It is yours and yours alone. Honor it. By that I mean keep your word, even if it hurts because of some unforeseen problem. So be careful in giving your word, but honor that commitment. Be the type that if you tell someone the world is flat, they are seriously going to pause and think about it.

Friends: Choose wisely. You will be known by your friends. Find friends who will stand by you no matter what; who will guard your back; who will climb the mountaintop of success with you; but tumble down with you into the deepest valley. You will ask me how to find those friends – you must be one first.

Work: Be willing to sign your name to anything you do. By that, I mean take pride in everything you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find mentors, the ones who have been there, and ask for their help. True mentors will be honored to help you. That doesn’t mean you always have to follow their advice, but seek as much advice as you can. In the end, the final decision is always up to you.

Remember that work is just that, work. So find something you are interested in and enjoy it. If you don’t, do something else. Work is a part of life, but don’t make your life your work. At the end of your life, no one is going to count how many hours you put into work. But they will remember the hours you put into your life and what you did with them.

Passion: Find something you love and do it, work, hobbies, and anything else.  God has given you special talents and abilities, discover them and use them. Tied to your passion is your purpose. God has put you on earth for a reason. Spend your life exploring His purpose for you and do it.

Money: Learn to live by the 80-10-10 rule. Give away 10 percent of everything you make to your church and other worthwhile charities. Save 10 percent. Learn to live on the remaining 80 percent. 

Learn the difference between a “want” and a “need.” You need to eat, have clothes and shelter. Take care of the have-tos first, then think about the want-tos. Except for major purchases, like a car or house, always be able to pay cash. Avoid credit debt at all costs.

Life: God, the master of the universe, does not care about a person’s color or their bank account. So neither should you. God cares about what you did while on earth with the talents He gave you. And one day you will give an accounting to that effect. Start preparing now. Respect everyone, but bow to no man save one, a Jewish carpenter.

The most important decisions you will make in life are your educational path, your career, finding God’s purpose and whom you marry. We will work on the first three, but regarding the fourth, find your own Little Black Dress and you will have done well indeed.

Love, Dad

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