here's something i was thinking about while i was watching a movie this evening.

there are two types of men in the world. sons who are following in their fathers footsteps and sons who are trying not to follow in their fathers footsteps.

take me as an example. i know that i'm not cut out to be a pastor. i couldn't write books for a living. so what do i do? i actively pursue other interests. i try not to follow in my father's footsteps. it's not rebellion. it's just the way it is.

my oldest brother graduated college, got married, and moved 2500 miles away to teach theology in a high school. he's doing exactly what my dad did. then, he realized that he wanted to be closer to family, so he's started working towards moving back. he's trying not to follow in our father's footsteps. and, actually, i'm thankful that he is.


in movies, we meet three types of guys. the first type are the ones that love their father, that respect him, that want to do what he does when they grow up. a lot of times, these are the ones with the dead fathers. a stereotypical example of this is the main character of Hot Rod. watch it, you'll know exactly what i'm talking about.

the second type are the ones that hate their fathers, that want to run away from home, that get into trouble doing whatever they can to get attention. this can of course be easily traced back to the fact that they were never loved enough as children. or maybe that their father is a depressed divorcee who can only find self-redemption by working 14 hour days. eventually, the father gets rich and decides he should have spent more time with his only son; so he shows up at the end of the movie long enough to make us think they're going to get along until the end of time. and all is good.

the last type are the ones that don't ever talk about their fathers. because of this, we either assume they fall closer to the first category than the second, or that their fathers were weak-minded men who qualified everything they said and believed that the best kind of discipline was giving your child a good talking-to. either way, their father doesn't really affect their decision-making.


basically, what i'm saying with all this is that script-writers realize how much movie reflect life. the first two character types are the most true-to-life in my opinion, even if they are the polar extremes. everything that happens in our life affects who we become, and your family has the most influence over your development out of anyone you meet. that might sound like an obvious statement, but think about it in light of what i've been saying.

everything your parents said to you, everything your brothers and sisters did to you made you become the person you are, for better or worse. at some point, you begin to become your own person, but by then you already define yourself by characteristics that were created by your family. if you start to run from that, you've turned into the man who's not following in his father's footsteps.

i wrote out an entire paragraph after this, then selected it and hit the delete button, because i don't think it needs to be said. my point has been illustrated. anything more would simply be excess fat, and i'm all about lean muscle. trace that back to my childhood.

AuthorSheffield Leithart