Do you remember the movie “Hook” from the early 1990’s? According to Stephen Spielberg, when Peter Pan grew up he became a self-absorbed, ladder climbing, workaholic baby boomer. So goes the story line of the movie.
In some early scenes Peter promises his son numerous times that he would come to see him play in his baseball game. Time and again Peter tries to make it to the game but allows business to interrupt the plan and he misses the games. One time Peter even sends one of his office assistants to the ball game in his place. The movie goes on to depict the tension this creates between Peter and his son.
What do you think about a father who promises his son numerous times that he will come and cheer his son at a ball game and yet never comes? You may think that too much is made of sports these days. I would agree with you but don’t let that observation cause you to miss the point. It could have been a music recital or school play or academic performance. The point is, the ball game was something that was important to the son and the father made and broke promises to be at the games. What do you think about that?
Does that father love his son? Again, be careful about how you answer. Remember, love is primarily NOT a feeling. Love is something that you do. Love is a way of treating someone, caring for someone. Does that father love his son?
Does that father support his son? Support is not just saying, “I’m for you.” Support is being there when someone needs you.
Does that father value his son more than his work? You know what the correct answer is. “Of course he values his son more than his work.” Then why does the work always get the nod before his son does? Why didn’t the dad break business appointments instead of breaking ball game appointments?
You see, next to action words mean very little. I love you. I support you. I value you. These mean very little when your actions declare something else. Can you see that?