“Responsibility is not a burden. Responsibility left neglected becomes a burden.”
Forever will this maxim be engrained in my memory. The principle of the importance of responsibility was thoroughly taught to me by my father, Leo Valladares, before I left home.
A devout leader in the Church, a persistent musician, and a devoted family man and provider; he was the only one who could have authentically impressed on me the importance of responsibility, and effectively shown me how it is supposed to be handled.
Responsibility is an ever-present and inherent element of life. It may seem like an intimidating beast at times, or a dark tunnel, but if we treat it like an adversary, we will lose. Think differently: if it’s a beast, it’s one waiting to be trained; if it’s a tunnel, it’s a tunnel leading to success. Responsibility is in a way, what we’re born for.
When I was young, I thought my Dad was invincible. He would come home from work in a suave trench coat, suit, and tie with the sunlight beaming behind him as he walked through the front door, and I knew he was a superhero.
As I grew older I began to see that my Dad wasn’t invincible. Though, I saw that something about him was causing my seven-year-old mind to think that. I saw that he took his family seriously: he took my mom seriously, he took my care seriously, he took…me seriously – and that’s better than being invincible.
Success can only happen when you take the responsibility you have seriously; whether you’ve inherited it or you’ve sought it out and seized it. Failure can only happen when you neglect your responsibility.
I’ve been able to find success in my military career, my education, and now am beginning to see it in my music and writing; all products of my passion. I’ve experienced success in these undertakings because I observed the strong example my father gave regarding running toward, rather than away from – responsibility. I would not be where I am today without him.
A father’s role is of the most important kind because he’s charged with a part in rising up the next generation of humanity, and in that way his legacy potentially lives forever. Now I’m no longer just seven, I’m twenty-seven; and I’ve learned this much: responsibility is not a burden, it’s a blessing.