never take sides against the family…ever
July 22, 2007 6 Comments
Let me try to explain the difference between intent and impact as it pertains to parenting.
Vito Andolini came to America and became Vito “Don” Corleone. He was a husband, and a business owner on the outside; and a thief, mob boss, and murderer on the inside. If you follow the story from the beginning; which would require you seeing Godfather 2 as well as 1, you will see that Vito was very concerned for his family and their well being. The things that he did, in most cases, had a positive affect on his family (in his eyes). He appeared to be honorable and upstanding as measured by his provisions. The only problem is that most of them were acquired illegally.
Vito was also a dad.
First there was Sonny. Sonny was hot tempered, for whatever reason. (He saw his dad kill someone.) I would go as far to say that he was uncontrollably angry. Uncontrollable to everyone but his father; but his father was too busy looking over the family business to help correct his behavior. Sonny was the air apparent to the empire that Vito created. The family legacy was to be carried on by the oldest son in the family. It’s an Italian thing.
Then there was Fredo. Fredo was clumsy, uncoordinated and could not be classified as confident. He paled in comparison to his brothers and was in need of reassurance. The type of reassurance that comes from a father. Vito could have taught his middle son to be more confident and assertive, but he was to busy trying to maintain the lifestyle that they all had grown accustom to.
(For you movie buffs, I am not including comments about Connie or Tom for the sake of Blog length. If you are a fan of either, I’m sorry.)
Finally there was Michael. The youngest son was the furthest from the family business. He was handsome, successful (to date), had a good woman, and a bright future. He served our great country in the military and had a strong understanding of honor and respect.
So what happened?
Vito’s life decisions came with a huge price. Sonny was shot dead due to the retaliation of an opposing family; Fredo ran off to goof around with Moe Green, exposed his family, and was killed via an order from his baby brother; Michael eventually lost his wife (Kate was a smart gal), children, and his sanity. Setting himself up to be forever alone in the hell his father created and left behind for him.
Back to intent vs. impact.
Vito wanted the best for himself and his family; but his family only needed the best of HIM. Vito tried to get respect by what he conquered through fear; instead of earning it through compassion. He measured himself by what he controlled; as opposed to what he was ultimately responsible for. Vito just wanted to provide, but his children just wanted his approval.
So what about our families?
What are we teaching our kids? What do they think is important in life? How do they measure themselves? Are we so busy “taking care of business”, that we are giving our family “the business”? What are your intentions for your family legacy? How is it impacting them today?
What about tommorrow?