In The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris went through a series of extreme adversities, but through all of them held on to one core thing, he wanted to be present as a father. His reward came recently when on the Oprah show, his son recalled that the only thing he remembers during those days that “his father was there with him, everyday.”
In Raising a Father, life was going great for me, and I had very few adversities. In the process of getting more of the good things in life, and achieving higher levels of success, I took my relationships for granted. My ultimate wake-up call came when my daughter confronted me with the sad truth that I did not know her. Very sad, and very unfortunate. Then started my journey to “be present” in my daughter’s life.
Chris’s son can take pride knowing that his dad was always present, and my daughter can take pride knowing that she influenced me to try to turn my life around and be present in her life.
Either way, for any parent, “being present” is the most important thing they can do.
Thank you Chris Gardner, the BLAACK (Building Leadership in the African-American Community for Kids), Prairie Middle School, Overland High School, and the Cherry Creek School District for making it happen. You can read more about Chris's message and the other speakers on the Cherry Creek School District website.