Second Hand Lions is one of my favorite movies. It’s a coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas. This movie has something for everybody: a love story, aerial acrobatics, dogs, lions, sword fights, fist fights with teenagers and (my personal favorite) shotgunning for travelling salesmen.
In one scene, Hub (the eccentric uncle played by Robert Duvall) gives his nephew (Haley Joel Osment) his “What Every Boy Needs To Know to Be a Man Speech”. You can watch it on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXn5-r8mj-s&feature=related .
It’s a good, formative talk and I have given my version of this speech to my clients’ children and grandchildren dozens of times. Sometimes high school or college-aged young adults need to hear this from someone who isn’t a parent or a relative. Each dialogue is different but the basic outline for this conversation goes something like this:
1. Have fun in school. You only get to do it once. But be careful and responsible. Honor the values your parents have given you.
2. Get the best grades you can. You and your parents worked hard to give you this opportunity. Respect their sacrifice (and your own) by working hard.
3. Stay out of debt.
4. Put aside something each time you get a paycheck or allowance. Even if it’s $1 in a coffee can.
5. Do something for someone less fortunate than you. It helps you to appreciate what you have and where you are.
6. Do what you say you are going to do.
7. Be courteous to your parents. Let them know where you are. They might be annoying but they love you. Remember to tell them that you love them. You won’t always have that opportunity.