Apply Your Opinions at Home

Like any reasonable adult, you’ve got opinions about the world. How the country should be run. What courage looks like in a politician. What a great coach does, what’s expected of an athlete in crunchtime, what loyalty they owe to the team. Maybe you think budgets should be balanced, maybe you really admire the boldness of certain entrepreneurs and think the world needs more of them.

These are all perfectly valid opinions. The problem is that as just a single voter or fan, we have very little say over them. Yet we waste so much time tweeting, complaining, venting over dinner. And what do we neglect in the meantime? The decisions we make in our own lives, how we organize our own families, our own budgets, how we respond to pressure and temptation in our own lives. 

A critic once advocated that Sparta become a democracy. Lycurgus, their great lawmaker, responded with the quip: “Make your own household a democracy first.” Because it’s easy to have opinions about what other people do… less fun to hold yourself to your own standards. You don’t like the ever expanding national debt? OK… but are your finances in great shape? You hate these ballplayers who demand trades and abandon teams who made them? But don’t you have your eye on a new career opportunity? You don’t like celebrities making a mockery of marriage… and how’s your own these days? You think these politicians should grow a pair… what truths are you speaking, and at what risk?

The point is: The place to apply your opinions is first and foremost at home. If you want to see a difference in the world, then model and make one at home. You’ve got plenty to work with, plenty to fix, plenty to improve. Start there. Show your kids that change is possible. Show them why these opinions matter—the real impact that comes from practicing what one preaches, and focusing on the practical instead of the theoretical. 

Start now.

P.S. This was originally sent on January 13, 2021. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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