The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith. – Billy Graham
This choice was inspired by:
Brendan Malone’s Son, your character is more important than legal action:
. . . I love my son more than life itself, but, if years from now, when he is in high school, he should ring me one day and tell me that he is being sent home from a very important school sports trip because he has made a bad decision and broken the law, I will not take legal action to help him avoid the consequences of what he has done.
I will undoubtedly feel greatly disappointed for him, and probably very angry about any personal time or financial investment that is about to be lost by my wife and I as a result of him being sent home from the competition.
But I would also be keenly aware that there is something far more important than just money, time or sporting accolades at stake here, and that I, as his father, need to help him to understand that honour matters, and that sacrificing your integrity to compete in a sporting competition (even if you win) does not make you a winner – it makes you a man without character. . .
Jonny Gilling’s Open letter to the Black Caps: I can point to you and say to my sons, ‘live like that’ :
. . The simple reality is that fame is a cheating lover. Give it a generation or two and very few people will recall your names or your achievements.
Perhaps the cricket die-hards will, there will no doubt be a plaque or two somewhere acknowledging what you have achieved. But the world is too small a place to remember the sporting deeds of many and each generation moves on to its own heroes.
What will live on is character passed from parent to child, honour imparted and stewarded into maturity by a community to a young one. What will live on are the qualities that can exist in a human heart that steward the very life of humanity.
And so I say thank you.
Thank you for taking your global stage and as a unified team, displaying something more valuable than holding aloft a trophy.
To New Zealand cricket, keep walking the path that you have started on. While you did not win the game, where honour and integrity are evident, you can never fail. I believe if you continue on in this manner, the trophies will come.
I know that given the hopes you had as a team, a letter from an unknown nobody will probably mean very little right now. However, life has a funny way of taking what we once thought was an incredible achievement, and with expanded and matured sight, life proves what we thought to be incredible is actually fairly insignificant.
It is for that reason that I hope each of you go forward to live the kind of lives where one day, perhaps months, years or decades from now, you read this letter again and recognise how invaluable it is to display honour, humility, character and compassion for the world to see.
As a father seeking to reveal to them the beauty of his sons, thank you.