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September 8, 2015

The Responsibility of Freedom

Hal photo outside Feb2012A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” (Bob Dylan)

Years ago, I missed my daughter’s piano recital; I was traveling for work. I called her from the road afterwards and asked her how she thought it went. We chatted about that for a bit, and I ended by saying, thoughtfully enough, “I wish I could’ve been there.”

“What, Daddy?” She calmly inquired

“I said, I wish I coulda been there to see you play.”

“No, you don’t.” She wasn’t angry, just matter of fact. I started to protest but then she answered:

“Daddy, if you wish you could’ve been here, you would’ve chosen to be here. You chose to be at work instead.”

Ouch.

Before I could utter the “but I have to work…” defense, she countered:

“Don’t you always tell us to take responsibility for all our choices? I don’t mind that you weren’t here, Daddy, just don’t blame work for your choices. You choose the kind of work that needs you to travel.”

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