By Mervin A. Bourne, Jr. (5/2/15) If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone tell me how much they hated Floyd Mayweather, I could retire today. And if I had another for every time this week I’ve heard someone say that they wish he’d get knocked out tonight, I’d be able to finally take that much-needed vacation. I tried really hard, and for the life of me I could never figure out why he has attracted so much “hate.” I concluded that it was not the domestic abuse angle, because people hated Floyd way before those stories came to the forefront. Additionally, people still love lots of celebrities who’ve been accused of domestic violence, e.g. Terrence Howard (everybody loves Lucious, right?), Chris Brown, Sean Penn, Mel Gibson, the list is lonnnggg). It’s not the recent Muhammad Ali comment, because people hated him way before that too. So rather than continue trying to delve deeper into the sources of “hate”, I came up with a short list of 3 things it was apparent to me, all of our sons can learn from Floyd Mayweather, Jr.:
1. How to believe in yourself more than anyone else does: Even as a young boy, your son will encounter people who will put him in a box based on THIER expectations and THEIR personal perception of his ability and his worth. The only way your son can surpass the limitations imposed on him by the people around him, is to have a belief in himself and his ability that is more powerful than those external forces. No one believes in Floyd more than Floyd does. How is your son doing in this department?
2. How to put in the work necessary to achieve your goals: There is a big difference between wanting something and being willing to work hard enough to get it. Even as adults, we talk all day long about things we want, but most of the things we want, we will never have – and the only thing preventing that is the willingness to do the tough things that need to be done. Boys must be taught the discipline necessary to make themselves capable of working hard enough to achieve their goals. No matter how people feel about his persona, there is a reason Floyd is well-known as one of the hardest working, most physically fit boxers ever. Where do discipline and work-ethic rank in your parenting priority list?
3. How to be confident enough to SAY that he is the best. I’ve always been amazed and perplexed with what to me, is society’s extreme obsession with “humility” (only when it comes to certain people – but I digress). When is someone allowed to acknowledge or say that he or she is the best at what they do? If the CEO of Microsoft, or Google makes an ad proclaiming to be the best in the world at what they do does that declaration evoke disdain? If a financial advisor trying to get your business during a sales pitch tells you that he or she is the third best at what they do, would you hire him or her, or would your first thought be, “Well who the heck are numbers 1 and 2 ’cause I need to be talking to them!” I personally believe that there is value in tact and humility – and that the judgement needed to exercise those things should be taught. However, I can’t help but give the side eye to anyone who seems deeply disturbed by people who are literally among the best on the planet earth at whatever it is they do – standing tall, with their heads in the air, and unapologetically saying “I am the best.” I plan on teaching my son that when he has earned it, there is a time and place where there is nothing wrong with that level of confidence. But to each his own, I guess.