The Legacy Letters, powerful lessons for living
EDITOR’S NOTE by Boysen Hodgson : Barry Friedman emailed me to tell me that I HAD TO get this book, The Legacy Letters by Carew Papritz, and read it immediately. He felt this was an important book for New Warriors, a book that speaks to our values as conscious men, and to the importance of taking action now to make sure that the important things we have to say are said.
I suggested that Barry get in touch with Carew, and reached out to make the connection … and as usual … Barry jumped right in and OVER-PERFORMED … putting together a great interview with Carew including a special reading by his son of a particularly poignant section of the book.
It’s a powerful story, full of wisdom, wonder, gratitude, and blessings. Listen to the interview, read the excerpt below – and order yourself a copy of this incredible book. Carew is sure to become a big name. He’s already out on the road doing book signings across the country.
Interview by Barry Friedman
Excerpts from the letter: On My Boy Becoming A Man
for The Mankind Project
(from The Legacy Letters by Carew Papritz)
As your papa, I have so much to tell you, to show you, of what it means to become a man. Trying to answer all your curious-boy questions about the day’s mysteries and wonders with the perfect papa-given mix of accuracy, simplicity, and clarity. Watching you fall and stand and then fall again as all boys must do with such ferocity and perpetuity, to occasionally pick you up but not too often. Leading you through the long fire that is baptism of my son becoming a man. And somehow I must do all of this through the mortality of my words.
By your mom’s grace and nearness, your sister will learn her mother wisdom. In one way or another, my Son, I must find a way to be next to you. Flying across a massive canyon of memory and time, hoping with all the strength, clarity, and love I can forgather as your father, I hope these words will wisely guide you toward someday becoming your own man.
Somehow, my Son, in our breakneck lust for the future of now, we got it into our heads that, like pushing a button or dialing a number, becoming a man is easy. Just devour a few dozen man-becomes-hero movies, pick-up a fast-looking car, make out with a girl or girls, pocket a few bucks, and do whatever you want whenever you want—easy. As a consequence, we turn out the perfect someone who looks like a man, talks like a man, and even sounds like a man but somehow acts like a Jack Sprat Billy-boy stunted at the pinnacle of his manly maturation, somewhere between the hormonal apex of twelve to twenty-three, who has no want, inclination, or motivation to earn his stripes and become a full-fledged, grown-up, thinking, thoughtful, good man. Now I’m not saying you have to be the Pope’s boy scout or John Wayne’s muleskinner, but if you’re not learning or wanting to someday become a man, then you’re forever practicing to remain a boy.
So when do you become a man, my Son?
Do you become a man by running around buck-naked in the wilderness for a week, waiting for some god-vision of three crows riding bareback on a bull elk at sun’s rising? Do you become a man by going to war to bludgeon, shoot, bayonet, or shish-kabob some dumb kid your own age on the other side who also thought going to war would make him a man? Do you become a man by souping up the latest Chevy with a 327 under the hood and whipping some poor sod in a midnight street drag?
No, you become a man when you first decide to put away the things of childhood, the talk of childhood, and the thoughts of childhood. You decide because you cannot be treated as both a man and a boy. Because you are either one or the other, but you are not both. And it doesn’t matter your age—you can be a child at fifteen or forty. Only when you as a boy decide you’re done waiting for the man you want to be and start being the man you want to become, do you begin to become a man.
When do you become a man?
When you become your own man.
When other men trust you to do a man’s work. Trust you with their name, their reputation, their thoughts. Trust you to watch their backs and trust you with their lives.
To become a man is to carry out your word because you gave your word. And your word is you as a man.
You become a man the moment you understand that responsibility is a real and vital commitment to yourself and others, and not some lazy-dog, all-agreeing grunt.
Becoming a man means doing the right thing even though it may be hard or difficult. Boys do what is easiest. A man does what is right, whether easy or not.
And what type of man should you be, my Son?
A good man. Above all else, strive to be a good man.
And you do not become a good man overnight. Much like a big, solid Douglas fir you must learn to withstand all manner of wind, rain, lightening, sun, and even fire—year after year after year—and still stand tall and true.
A good man, in your papa’s book, is a great man. One who constantly strives to be the best of men, to himself and to others. Because the world can never have enough good men.
And what makes a good man, my Son.
A good man is being fair. In both your words and your actions.
When you admit being wrong. And then right that wrong.
A good man knows when he’s been humbled, and learns from his humility.
Being a good man means to speak with sincerity, and love with certainty.
A good man will try to act wisely by thinking first and then acting.
A good man tells the truth.
A good man lives for the joy in life and the happiness of being alive, not shackled to the wants of the future or the regrets of the past.
A good man defends those that cannot defend themselves.
And a good man knows the difficulty of being a man, knowing the fall from grace is always near at hand, and thus is always striving to make himself a better man.
And as I quickly grow older, my Son, I see that the becoming a man and the being a man are eventually and truly one in the same, and the tests and the testing never end. I know in my father heart, and in all the other places I cannot go to at this moment, that I believe in you with all my love, even as time now disappears before me. And I know someday you will become a man to make your papa proud—your own man. Walking true to your own beliefs, carrying your name proudly, ever loyal to a valiant heart, and believing that being a good man in this life is a great endeavor. And on that day, I will somehow be with you. And somehow, I will have been your father. I love you.
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