Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tough Love

Tough Love

This is a story about one of my friends that I met in Zachary, Louisiana. Mike Kent is a true southern gentleman. He will help you out in any way that he can and is always polite. When he told me of a time that he had to show tough love to his son it really got my attention. It made me wonder if I would have the courage to make such an unpopular decision if it were required.

Mike and his wife gave their son a nice used Maxima for his seventeenth birthday in 1995. He laid down some ground rules that had to be followed, most of them concerning safety.

Not too many days later, Mike woke up early was surprised to find the Maxima in the driveway looking pretty muddy. When he walked around the car he noticed that both tires on the passenger side were flat. They also looked like they had been driven on after they had blown out. He woke up his son and asked what had happened to the car. When the story didn’t match up with the evidence, he asked who had been in the car with him the night before. Mike called the homes of the passengers and got them over to his house. He had all of them clean the car and then called the local garage to have the car towed away. The car was sold and not replaced.

Things were tense at the Kent household for awhile. Mike said that it hurt him to take the car away and it definitely hurt his son not having the mobility that all teenagers want.

Mike’s son graduated high school and joined the Air Force the following year. He spent six years traveling the world. He is now 31 years old and married with two children of his own. He lives in Zachary and he and Mike are very close. In my observations, he is actually more like his father than he knows. I asked him once about the car incident and he told me that he may not be here today if his dad hadn’t taken the car away.

Not too many fathers today could have taken such a tough stand. I hope I could do the same. It makes you wonder what could be accomplished if we all stuck to our principles.

1 comment:

  1. Your friend is my new hero. This is required reading for the Shockey kids.