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Letter from Coach

I remember reading a letter from Ricardo Montelban to his son which my father had posted on the wall of our house. Ricardo was a famous actor in the 60s-80s and was best known for being Mr. Rourke on Fantasy Island.


What I like about his letter is how well it describes the parent-child relationship which should be nurtured by love which manifests respect.


As a coach, I mainatin what the Greeks would have called a "philia" love for my players. This is a kinship love which is different from parents, God or lovers. It is one where I seek to mentor athletes wanting to help them achieve admirable ambitions while working to eradicate characteristics which would impede their growth.


Here is my version of Ricardo's letter:


Dear Athlete,
As long as you play on this team, you will follow the rules. When you have your own team, you can make your own rules. On this team, we do not have a democracy. I did not campaign to be your coach. You did not vote for me. We are a coach and athlete by the Grace of God, and I accept that privilage and awesome responsibility. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I also am your friend, but we are on entirely different levels. You will do on this team as I say and you may question me, but must adhere to my instruction, because whatever I ask you to do is motivated by love. This will be hard for you to understand until you have a team of your own. Until then, you will need to place your trust in me.
Coach Golemon

God's love for us is encapsulated by the Greek's as "agape" love. This is love which can only be formed by the creator. I envision God's letter to mankind to go something like this:


Dear Created Person,
As long as you live in this universe, you will follow the rules. When you create your own universe, you can make your own rules. In this universe, we do not have a democracy. I did not campaign to be your creator. You did not vote for me. We are a creator and created person because of me (God), and I accept that privilage and awesome responsibility. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I also am your friend, but we are on entirely different levels. You will do in this universe as I say and you may question me, but you must adhere to my instruction, because whatever I ask you to do is motivated by love. This will be hard for you to understand until you have a universe of your own. Until then, you will need to place your trust in me.
God


Finally, the original letter from Ricardo Montelban to his son was born out of "storge" love which can only be found between a parent and a child. His original letter as penned:

Dear Son,
As long as you live in this house, you will follow the rules. When you have your own, you can make your own rules. In this house we do not have a democracy. I did not campaign to be your father. You did not vote for me. We are father and son by the grace of God, and I accept that privilege and awesome responsibility. In accepting it, I have an obligation to perform the role of a father. I am not your pal. Our ages are too different. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I also am your friend, but we are on entirely different levels. You will do in this house as I say and you must not question me because whatever I ask you to do is motivated by love. This will be hard for you to understand until you have a son of your own. Until then, trust me.
Your father