Earlier this year in an article I wrote entitled Ambushed By My Cousin, I told you I was going to write 3 articles about how to raise boys into responsible Catholic men. The articles were going to be entitled: (1) Hammerheads, Bricks & Challengers; (2) A Prowler In The House; and (3) Religion On A Sleeve.
When I was a junior in college, I got into a discussion with my dad about the role of large companies in America. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. We were standing in the kitchen at my parents’ home and I told him I believed that one of the primary responsibilities of large companies was to provide employment for individuals. He looked at me like I was a two headed creature from outer space and said, “You’re not going to get anywhere in life with that attitude.”
Any discussion about what it takes to transform boys into men should always include a consideration of the lessons used by great coaches to train boys and young men on how to be winners. Although I am not an avid fan of professional sports, I am a fan of the late Vince Lombardi who some claim was the greatest football coach of all time. Before I talk about what Lombardi himself called “Lombardi Time,” I want to give you a brief summary of his life as a coach.
Do you know the name of the first grocery store in Peoria that had scanners at checkout lanes, instead of cash registers where everything had to be rung up one at a time by hand? I know the name of the store because I worked there when I was in high school. The store was Randall’s Foods and it was located in the Westlake Shopping Center, across the street from Northwoods’ Mall.
About 15 years ago, I purchased a tape set that consisted of recordings of 4 different talks that were given by a Catholic priest on the topic of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. During one of the talks, the priest explained a theory that he had heard from his brother-in-law about the different tendencies men and women are born with. His brother-in-law was a psychiatrist and a devout Catholic who had been counseling married couples for over 25 years.
A few months ago in an article entitled Ambushed By My Cousin, I told you about how I promised a cousin of mine that I would write about what I thought parents should be doing to raise their boys into decent, honorable, and respectable Catholic men. In the Ambushed article, I talked about the men on both sides of my parents’ families – the Williams men and the LaHood men.
Last week, after I published my article on The Two Greatest Desires, I happened to run into one of my cousins. When I saw her walking toward me, I noticed the expression on her face. It was one of those determined looks, a look that alerted me that she was about to give me a lecture. How was it that was I able to read the look on her face? She raised her family in the same neighborhood I grew up in, and during that time I had several opportunities to see the same look on her face immediately prior to her delivering a lecture to me or someone else in the neighborhood.