Return with Honor

March 20th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

On December 26, 1990 I rushed my wife to the hospital where she gave birth to our first son, John. I remember the excitement, the joy, and also the weight that came on me when my son first looked at me and I realized that this boy was now dependant upon me.

We took him home to our small basement apartment. The heat wasn’t working, so we turned the oven on and we baked that young man like a Thanksgiving turkey! We set him in front of the oven and got up every hour to check on him. The years that followed have been an absolute joy.

This young man has been a strong, good, honorable son. For the last two years my son John has been serving a mission in Japan.

Approximately one year ago we were woken up at three o’clock in the morning by a well-intending neighbor who asked, “Is John alive?” At that point we ask, “What are you talking about?” Then of course we were informed of the earthquake and the resulting sunami that hit Japan.

Johnny was a part of the cleanup and actively involved in some of the rescue, recovery, and service that took place in the devastated area.

Well, several days ago our entire family went up to the airport to welcome John home. He disembarked the plane, came downstairs to the waiting area, and immediately his mother ran to him and hugged this young man exactly like he was a newborn.

At that moment I actually realized that this young man has reached a new phase where he is the responsible one. He is now able to lead and go forward and teach me great things.

I have to tell you there is no greater honor than having a young man that does good—one who is service oriented, one who is goal oriented, and one who goes forward to do good in the world. It is thrilling to have a son return with honor and at the same time, set a good example for his younger brothers.

One of the businesses that we created as part of the Zig Zag Principle was a business started by Johnny. The last couple years while he’s been off serving, his younger brothers have been running the business. I pay respect and honor to Johnny. I respect him for not only sacrificing to go and live a humble, meager existence and to do good for these years, but I praise him for having the courage to follow the Zig Zag Principle and set up a business.

The final chapter in the Zig Zag Principle is The All or Nothing Trap. Indeed this week highlighted that the most valuable things in life are our family, our friends, and our trust relationships. I hope each of you experience the joys of family too.

I wish my son and this young businessman find success. I look for more incredible things to come from him.

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