The Progressive commericals: Who’s influencing your life?

So, I am apparently becoming my dad. Is that a bad thing?

Yes, I have been known to introduce myself and my wife to the waiter at the restaurant.

Okay, maybe I have a Live, Laugh, Love coat rack in one of the extra bedrooms. I don’t manage the throw pillows in the home, but I may have offered assistance to a repairman once or twice.

But I draw the line here: I don’t use my speakerphone in a public place, and I can actually open a PDF quite easily, thank you.

As I’ve grown older, I have indeed noticed more ways that I am becoming my parents, especially my dad.

I’ve recognized more and more the lessons he taught me. I say things he would say, and I do some things the way he did. It has become clear that the mark he has left on me is indelibly etched on my personality, values, beliefs, and actions. Yes, it’s safe to say my dad made me into the man I am today. And I still have a long way to go to measure up.

But more than tying a tie or changing a flat — lessons he taught me — he taught me how to care and how to be gentle. He taught me to respect and to have consideration for others. He taught me the right way. Not with his words. Not in a 1-2-3 step lesson. But by his example, and all the time in his quiet, remarkable demonstration of character and nature.

Yes, there may be traits and characteristics in your parents you may not want to emulate. But you’re in denial if you believe the people who raised you aren’t deeply inbred into your character and being. Own it. It’s your heritage and your legacy.

Maybe the bigger question is this: Who else is influencing your character, beliefs and traits? Who is speaking into your life daily? Who is your encourager or your Debby-downer? Who is lifting you up or tearing you down? In other words, who is in your inner circle?

Just as the Progressive commercials imply you are becoming your parents, you also become those with whom you spend the most time. How’s that working out for you? If, for some reason, you aren’t growing, reaching your goals or dreams, or maybe it’s just that you don’t like the person you’re becoming, take a look at your inner circle or those people and things you spend the most time with.

It may be time to shuffle the chairs on the deck. Or, perhaps get a new deck entirely. What would change if you…

  • Stopped listening to those Negative Nellies?
  • Turned off the TV? Or at least became more selective in your viewing?
  • Put that video game down?
  • Read a good book?
  • Woke up an hour earlier?
  • Stopped listening to the lies?
  • Started believing “you can” instead of “you can’t”?
  • Focused on the things and people you have and not the things and people you don’t have?
  • Changed your attitude, outlook or perspective?
  • Stopped running from things and start running to something?
  • Believed what God says about you?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s time. Your family is your heritage, and you’ll want to pass on that legacy and tradition. Some of the other stuff, though, is a different story. You can stop carrying the load and drop the extra baggage. Which one of those bullet points above will be your starting point?

And, to all those Progressive commercials, I ask: What’s wrong with becoming your parents? At least in some ways.

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