Do something that really matters this holiday season

This is the time of the year when we give thanks for our blessings and buy gifts for those we love and care about. I’ll do those things, for sure, but I’m also planning on doing some things that are different, things that really matter over time.

In between Thanksgiving, selling my boat and getting my sponsorship responsibilities in line something happened in my family that set my thinking on a different path. My nephew was, and is, struggling with family issues. It’s been tough on him, and I’m concerned that those issues could point him in the wrong direction. 

So I decided to take him fishing for a day on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

There’s a power plant lake near Fort Worth that we visited. It’s full of bass taking advantage of the warm water running from the plant into it. All we did was toss out a Mega Bass Vision 110 hard jerkbait and an occasional soft jerkbait as well. We caught a ton of them. His share was around a dozen good, solid bass.

But, what it really did for my nephew was give him a day without thinking about his issues. I guarantee you that once he was in the boat and after he made a few casts all he was thinking about was the next fish, and that’s exactly what I wanted him to be thinking about. 

You know, it’s easy for those of us that have been blessed to write a check or throw a few dollars into a basket. We feel good when we do it, but the truth is that we’re taking the easy way out. Sometimes we should buckle down and put our good deeds into something that’s a little tougher — our time and physical energy.

I’ve been blessed in more ways than I’ve talked about so far. I grew up in San Jose, Calif. I had wonderful parents who were good to me and who set the right example. But I’ll also tell you about something else — they both worked nights. I had a lot of unsupervised time on my hands. That can go bad real quick when you’re a young man. 

In my case it didn’t because I found fishing at an early age. It was a good and wholesome thing that kept me out of trouble and in touch with the right kind of people. Mostly men who displayed their manhood by doing the right things. 

I know what that meant to me, and I want to give that same thing to my nephew. But, you can’t order that over the internet. You have to get off your butt and invest your time and your energy. That’s what I’m talking about when I said that the easy thing doesn’t always get it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t donate money to charities or buy gifts for needy children. That’s a worthy thing to do. But, at the same time, we need to look around and see if we can spot someone who needs more than that, our time along with a positive example. 

There’s a lot of ways to do that, but we are all anglers so it seems logical to look towards the water. That’s where I looked last Friday, and it’s where I’ll be looking in the future.