Not all of us are able to give our children riches. Or powerful connections. Or even superior genetics.
Does this mean they’re at a disadvantage? That they’re screwed? Nope. Because there is a great leveler out there—one that we can show them and that they can use at any time.
As the famous Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril would tell his young athletes, “My father came from the province of Leon in Castile, Spain and worked for thirty nine years in the open-heart of the Bethlehem Steel Company. Every day, before he left for work, he would remind my sister and me how important it was to be smart. ‘In this life,’ he would say, ‘the big, strong guys are always taking from the smaller, weaker guys but…the smart take from the strong.’’’
It’s simple fatherly wisdom: Use your brain. It’s the secret weapon of underdogs everywhere, available to all and always free.
Of course, it’d be wonderful if everything was fair, if everyone was equal, if our kids never had anything taken from them, if they never had to struggle to get what they were entitled to. But that isn’t life. Success will require brains. The weak will have to find a way to beat the strong.
Smarts are the only way.