I want to share a slightly edited portion of a letter my friend Scott Raecker wrote to his daughter Emily on sending her off to college:
My Dear Emily,
My life changed the day we found out that you were on your way. From that moment forward, you have been on my mind and heart – every day.
I vividly remember driving you home from the hospital. I was incredibly nervous with this great awareness: I was in control and it was my responsibility to protect you from the dangers of the world.
Now, as you go off to college, I am still nervous. The dangers of the world are still out there, but I don’t have the same control, and the responsibility for your safety is more yours than mine.
When I hug you goodbye on move-in day, I may not be able to say all I want to. I want to be sure you know I love you. I am proud of you. I believe in you. I know you are ready for this next stage of your life.
Your mom and I have watched you grow into your own person, and we trust you to make good choices (though we expect that you will make some mistakes and that from these you will grow).
The rest of your life will not be the next four years – but the next four years will have a significant impact on the rest of your life. So work hard, dream big, make good decisions – and have fun! Let your values, your faith, and your character guide you and never doubt that your mom and I will always love you and be proud of you.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.