“Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love… true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.” – A quote from Hub (Robert Duvall) in the movie: Second Hand Lions.
A man takes his nephew to buy his first pair of boots. Buying a first pair of boots for a young man can be quite an education. Oh, sure, it’s exciting to get a first pair of boots. It’s exciting to get a pair of boots anytime. There’s nothing quite like a great fitting, great looking pair of boots. A tradition that can and should come with receiving a first pair of boots is the knowledge of being a good man, a just man, a gentle man. The quote above from my favorite movie, Second Hand Lions, really sums this up.
If every father sat his young man down and explained these things, whether he receives a pair of boots or not, wouldn’t that be great? Of course, it’s better with a pair of boots because then that knowledge is seared into the child’s memory for his (or her) lifetime. Yes, girls wear boots (and look darn good in them) and need the same understanding of what makes a good person. We all need that! And why not start when they’re young so they have a chance to practice for a long time?
So, go buy a young man or young woman their first pair of boots. Teach them how to pull themselves up by their boot straps. Teach them that sometimes, they may need help. And that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask (especially when the boots are new and harder than hell to get off – that could be deemed a two person job). Teach them how to be good and kind-hearted. If everyone did that, just imagine how great this world would be. Every child, and grown up deserves that.
And the boots, they may get scuffed or worn, but they can always be repaired – just like our relationships and our souls. So, don’t let your child be a heel. And if they are, do some ‘splainin to them while helping them on (or off) with their boots. It’s not just a Texan thing.