If you’ve never seen the movie A Bronx Tale, it centers around a young man growing up in New York. In the movie, “C”, as the boy is known, idolizes the mob boss who runs his neighborhood. Although his father, played by Robert De Niro, tries to raise “C” to be an honest and hardworking man, the mob life is very alluring. Throughout the movie, Robert De Niro repeats a line to his son, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”
The reason I bring this up is because if you follow the news, you know that Aaron Hernandez was just convicted of 1st degree murder and sent to prison for life without parole. Aaron Hernandez is a 25 year old former New England Patriot that signed a 40 million dollar NFL contract 2 years ago. In his first couple years in the league, he showed the potential to be one of the best tight ends to ever play the position. Just a few short months after signing this massive contract, he murdered a man. I won’t pretend to know why he did it or what kind of life he has led. But what I do know is that Aaron Hernandez threw away a potentially bright future because of the choices he made.
We talk to our kids all the time about making good choices. When my 2 year old daughter wants to do her own thing instead of listening, I try to remind her that she needs to make a good choice. Even at her age, I try to teach that if she doesn’t there are always consequences. As a society, we look up to people with money, power, athletic ability, etc. What we find out is that without character, they always come crashing down. If you lie and cheat and steal, you don’t always get caught right away. Some people are like chameleons and can hide their true colors for years. Eventually, it almost always catches up to them. And when it does, their millions of dollars and their fancy possessions can’t save them. Teach your kids that character is what makes you successful. Are you a good father or mother? Do you help people? Do you work hard? Those are the true measures of success.
Like the movie said, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”