There Are Limits

We say we’d do anything for our kids. That nothing is more important than providing for them, than keeping them safe, than giving them a better life.

So you’d think when Ulysses S. Grant got a lifeline as a dirt-poor farmer and suddenly came into possession of a slave named William Jones, likely as a “gift” from his wife’s family, he’d use the opportunity to his advantage. Certainly, it was legal and widely accepted at the time…but owning another human being, wringing bread from the sweat of another man’s brow, was an injustice Grant simply could not stand. On March 29, 1859, Grant made the costly choice to give Jones, a slave “worth” $1,000, his freedom.

This act, as we explain in Right Thing, Right Now (now available for preorder!), hardly made a dent in a system that enslaved some four million men, women, and children at the time. And yet Grant, who would do whatever to provide for his family—including, at one point, selling firewood by the side of the road and just a few years earlier, pawning his watch to buy Christmas presents—was not willing to violate his principles. He would not do something that violated his conscience, even if it meant another year of excruciating manual labor.

Did his kids understand this sacrifice? Did his wife, who came from a slave-owning family, agree? Probably not. But he wouldn’t bend. He preferred backbreaking work to exploiting and abusing another person. And ultimately, didn’t this provide for his kids, provide a towering example of what integrity and toughness look like? What self-belief looked like, that Grant believed there was another way out, that he could turn things around? (Which he did).

As we’ve said, our kids are the most important thing in our lives, but they are not an excuse. They are not a reason to rationalize immoral behavior. If anything, they are a reminder of why, why we have to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. Why we don’t take shortcuts or hurt people. Because they’re watching. Because we want to give them a better life, not just materially but also spiritually, ethically, morally.

If you want a playbook on how to provide that kind of life for your kids, Right Thing, Right Now: Good Values. Good Character. Good Deeds. is the book for you!

Right Thing, Right Now officially comes out June 11, but it’s already been getting rave reviews. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it’s “a message we all need to hear.” And Dr. Edith Eva Eger called the book “a gift to humanity, showing us that each of us can live with a clear sense of justice, both within ourselves and within this planet.”

If you want to take their word for it, Right Thing, Right Now is now available for preorder! We’ve put together some exciting bonuses, including a signed page from the original manuscript of the book and a video message from Ryan Holiday explaining how working on this book changed him as a writer and father. Learn more about those and how you can preorder the book by heading here TODAY!

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