The other night we attended a party, and as parties often goes, talks invariably delved into the whereabouts of former friends. We were struck with the unexpected successes of some friends – judging from the relative dearth of talents during their younger years. Perhaps, the adage that in life there are late bloomers is true indeed.
But sadder still are news of some friends demise, and of some having fallen on very hard times during this year.
On this last blog for 2010, and as we bade goodbye to the Tiger and welcomes the Rabbit (2011), we will talk about mentoring and apprenticeship in relation to fathers and sons in the family.
Mentoring a son, apprenticeship in ones’ trade, passing on, commissioning, teaching and so forth is the responsibility of the father. Woe to him who fails to mentor his son or interest him in his craft – it often spells the doom of the family business which he has built with sweat and tears for many years.
Mentoring by the way is very serious business in the Bible. This you can see in Deuteronomy 6 (v v 7-9) below, when God spoke through Moses:
“You shall teach them diligently to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (vv. 7-“
For our purposes here, I dare say, that this must also include teaching also our sons the livelihood, or business, or craft of his father – for the protection and future prosperity of his own (the sons’ ) family.
In the party discussion we mentioned above is this constant theme: once a father fails in this basic and fundamental duty of mentoring his son(s), it most often spells the doom of any family business.
That’s why it is often important, that a tycoon must teach his son early on, in the whys, wherefores and hows of his family business – not merely for the survival of their progeny, but also of his business empire.
Case # 1 : Is the sad story of the family of a cousin from a boomtown city in the Philippines who was into heavy equipment rental business. A bit player in that city before he became very successful, he suddenly fell victim to a heart attack. He prematurely left behind a sprawling equipment yard filled with dozers, pay loaders, dump trucks and other old heavy equipments, a widow, 3 daughters, and a son.
Problem is his son is not interested at all in his business – being of a bonafide member of the federation. His interest lies elsewhere in scissors and combs, and so now his widow (who also does not know a thing about said business) ends up slowly selling each piece of equipment at bargain prices. Hard crying times have fallen indeed – as there are not that many takers of old and obsolete heavy equipments.
Case # 2 : An entirely different story of a Filipino – Chinese friend – who just like yours truly, is also a civil engineer by profession. In a classic case of forward planning and fortitude, his father started with a small store for construction materials, then later branch out to build their small construction company from scratch. Then he literally took charge of his sons’ education in the school of hard knocks.
His two sons were mentored very early in the business, and despite all their adolescent resistance – the father often would drag them crying all the way to the construction site – the father has prevailed. One would eventually became a successful civil engineer, and the other an accomplished architect. Last time we meet, the civil engineer is driving a brand new SUV 2010 model.
The daughters when they got married were each given a start-up capital (as their tradition demands) for their own family business – but still the management of the construction business was given to the 2 sons. As a result, it has now grown into one of the biggest construction firm in this part of the country. And the father has retired – just playing golf – confident that his business is in the capable hands of his children.
Therefore, from this vantage point, we firmly believe that the act of mentoring ones’ children (sons and daughters, of course!) in the business, in the Word of God, and in comporting themselves in their daily life is absolutely necessary. It is also the primary duty of the father.
Now this is a food for thought we are leaving behind as we venture into the unknown world of 2011.
Happy New Year to All. 🙂
Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat! (Tagalog)
Mabungahong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan! (Cebuano)
Narang-ay a Baro a Tawen kadakayo amin! (Ilokano)
Mahamungayaon nga Bag-ong Tuig sa inyong tanan (Hiligaynon)
Mamura-way na Ba-gong Taon sa indo gabos! (Bikol)
Masaplalang Bayung Banwa keko ngan! (Kapampangan)
Mainuswagon nga Bag-o nga Tuig ha iyo nga tanan! (Waray-Waray)
Maaligwas ya Balon Taon ed sikayon amin! (Pangasinan)
Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on kinyo tanan! (Akeanon)
Makasi Tahun Ba’gu kaniyu katantan! (Tausug)