For once, a serious post from me...I was recently asked by dear friends to be their son's godfather. It might not mean much to some, but as someone who has no interest in marriage or kids of his own, I was deeply moved. I was then inspired by the likes of Jason, Ty, the good Doctor and others on this forum who have purchased, or are keeping Doxas for their children.
I've decided to pass along my cherished 750 Pro to my godson, to be used when he is 18 and hopefully old enough to appreciate it. In addition, I've written him the following letter. I apologize if it is inappropriate to post on this forum, but I respect everyone's opinion and input, and would like your honest feedback. If it is taken down by a moderator, I understand - I did not know where else to post it. It is long, and honestly it might be more dramatic than necessary, but I hope you will take the time to read it and tell me what you think.
Thank you in advance,
I write this letter two days shy of your birthday. It was only two weeks ago that your parents asked me to be your Godfather, or rather, ďsandakĒ in proper Hebrew. Some may think it a meaningless honorific, but it was a request I took seriously and treasured as deeply as anything Iíve ever been asked to do. That is why I am writing you this letter today, and why I did not allow you to read before your 18th birthday.
I donít know what kind of world you and I will be living in when you read this letter. By the time youíre allowed to open this, you will be a man according to Jewish tradition, and then some. I hope that youíve learned to accept that responsibility, as the term is thrown around too lightly and applied to boys who have not yet matured.
The world in which you read this will be very different from the one in which it was written, and although youíre still young (and yes, I hated to hear that when I was your age; saying that is a privilege that comes with time, experience and most importantly, wisdom) I trust that my friends, my adopted brother and sister, your parents, have done an outstanding job in raising you properly. I hope that I have played a small part in your growth and transition from child, to young adult, to manhood.
Being a man, your own man, does not always mean doing things on your own. It is important to have self-reliance, but it is equally important to know when to ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help from those you know, love and even from a stranger when necessary. If you were fighting to save someone from drowning, would you be too proud to ask a man walking down the beach to assist you, all because of your foolish pride? Asking for help does not diminish your courage and strength.
It is only wrong to ask for help when you allow it to become a crutch, to ask others to do what you should do yourself. Knowledge comes when you know the difference between the two. Wisdom is when you apply that knowledge.
Having said that, I would like to share with you some of the wisdom of what Iíve learned in the 31 years before you came into my life. Many of these are lessons you will have learned from your father, mother, grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles and others in your life. I still hope that some of these you will have learned from the non-familial uncle, the one who sees you less frequently but treats you the way you want to be Ė like a man. Too often we donít appreciate what we learn from those closest to us. Perhaps in my distance I can effect more change than if you saw me all the time...
Samuel, I want to thank you for giving me the chance to pass this along to you. I hope you will take these to heart. I am a better person for living by these rules, and you will be as well.
- Respect your parents. They love you and want whatís best for you. Sometimes we donít see the errors and mistakes we make (more on that later) but our parents do.
- Donít abuse your friendsí trust in you. Ever. Trust is difficult to earn, easy to throw away, and impossible to regain.
- Always open a door for a woman, ask her if she needs help carrying anything, and pull a chair out for her. It might be quaint, ancient or farcical by the time you read this. Nevertheless, there is no time limit on class.
- Being a gentleman does not mean you always do what she says or asks. A man makes up his own mind and travels his own path. Have strength in your beliefs, convictions and dreams. I know from personal experience how tempting it is to throw everything away because of a rush of passion. Donít.
- Never hit a woman. I donít care if she scratched your car, broke your favorite childhood toy, ran over your dog or insulted your parents, friends or honor. Show some class. In that situation restrain and defend, and get out. Never go on the offensive.
- Never ďplayĒ a woman. That term might not make sense to you. Quite simply, never use one for your own gratification. I donít care if you see ten of them at the same time Ėyou owe it to them to be upfront and tell them youíre seeing others. If youíre not interested in more but she is, cut the tie. Donít string her along and donít let her get attached. She will be better off finding someone who does want to be attached. Your Godfather has been involved with many women, but he always told them the truth, and right from the beginning.
- ďAll is fair in love and war.Ē Absolute nonsense. Some lines should never be crossed.
- Never date your friendsí sisters or ex-girlfriends. If you like them, swallow your pride and let it go. Donít throw your friendship away.
- Forgive yourself. You come from excellent stock, the best this world has to offer. Nevertheless, you are not perfect. You can strive for perfection, but you CAN settle for excellence.
- Know the difference between an error and a mistake. An error doesnít become a mistake unless you refuse to correct it. There will be times when you err, and times when you make a mistake. Make sure there are less and less of the latter as you grow.
- Honesty is never a joking matter. Donít make fun of someone for telling the truth. It takes more courage than you might realize to be completely open and honest.
- Learn the difference between integrity and honesty. This one I can't explain - you will learn this on your own.
- Donít pick a fight unless youíre protecting someone else who needs it. Sometimes people need to fight their own battles. Other times they need protection.
- If you pick the fight, play by the rules. Donít hit below the belt.
- If someone picks a fight with YOU, fight dirty.
Now, to the giftÖthis watch was once mine, and spent many hours, days and nights on my wrist as I loved, laughed, traveled, dove, adventured and lived as fully as I knew and know how. It bears with it some of the marks of those journeys and adventures. Now it is yours, waiting for you to make your own impressions on it. It is a unique watch, one that runs without batteries, solar power, or any source other than winding and movement. This watch symbolizes to me what a man should be. It is unique, bold, noticeable, unforgettable, rugged, and classy, all rolled into one. These are qualities that I strive to possess and embody. These are the qualities that I hope to have taught you to embrace and become.
It is a watch that belongs to an active man. Now you are the young, vibrant active man. Wear it with pride. It is timeless Ė and so are you.