Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
We all love sports underdog stories of an individual or team success against all odds and logic. “King Richard” delivers a great story and example, and the best part is that it is a true story.
These tales elevate our hope of a better life, never more stunning than experiencing a challenging journey to realize it.
I was attracted to “King Richard” because of its All-American message of hope, which coincides with the principles in my latest book, “Life’s Daily Treasure: 366 Doses of Hope, Optimism, Personal Growth, and Encouragement.” Hope in life is always welcome and devastating when absent.
In the movie and book, we see that we have hope for a better life if we follow the time-proven principles. They include visualizing our dream, daring to act, disciplining ourselves to prepare, persevering through obstacles, dedicating ourselves to repelling pessimism, and living as examples to present and future generations.
Richard and Brandy Williams raised five wonderful daughters. They emphasized faith, family, education, and striving to achieve championship performance in whatever field they entered. Their well-rounded approach confirmed that their efforts encompassed the big picture and were not merely about tennis success.
The road Venus and Serena Williams navigated to reach the pinnacle of the tennis world was not as quick or easy as the siren song pop culture sings.
Richard Williams was a visionary who wrote a 78-page plan before his girls’ birth, saw his role as “the champion raising business,” and projected his optimism and confidence on his children.
He knew for the children to escape their environment, they would have to overcome many obstacles, including the discouragement of those who surrendered their dreams unfulfilled.
Richard knew achieving one’s potential was predictable with hustle, discipline, focus, persistence, dedication, planning every day, and preparing for the unpredictable. As a father of a former college athlete, I know the fine line between supporting a child’s dream and pushing them to the point of burnout and abandoning that quest. He taught his girls nothing is free, respect is earned and not given, and encouraged them every step of the way. When the girls succeeded, he tempered their celebrations with humility, even using Cinderella as an example.
When Serena experienced a rare setback, the family lifted her spirit demonstrating we all fail, but what is important is how we respond to failure. Brandy wasn’t the central character in the movie, but make no mistake; her role was crucial in the family’s achievements. She wouldn’t let Richard or any girls quit and demonstrated true love with her example of dealing with frustration.
Richard and Brandy Williams are excellent examples any parent should emulate of love, sacrifice, respect, hope, encouragement, training, commitment, and virtually any other positive adjective you might include. Were they perfect? No, but none of us are. We all want our children to enjoy a better life than we have and their children to live superior lives to their experience. To modify a Vince Lombardi quote, we all pursue perfection as parents and hope we achieve excellence.
Realizing success, Richard and Brandy taught Venus and Serena they had a responsibility to give back to their community and lift the next generation. They do so through multiple endeavors furthering their examples of a well-lived life.
“King Richard” is well worth watching for its entertainment, cheering another underdog on to victory, and the innumerable life lessons it offers to benefit everyone. The Williams family continues to write additional chapters to their story daily.
The last lesson the movie illustrated, and I want to advocate, is that our impact on people’s present and future are more important than worldly fame or fortune realized. We shouldn’t waste our opportunities.
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