Raising children into responsible, generous and well-rounded and well-adjusted adults is no easy task. Yet Tim Hoch provides 50 rules for his son meant to do just that in his newly-released book, 50 Rules for Sons. A version for daughters is forthcoming.
Each of the 50 rules he outlines for his sons has a backstory. Even the book has a backstory.
When Stephen Hoch graduated from high school, his dad, Tim, wanted to give him a gift that would last a lifetime. What had started as a letter turned into a list of life lessons that Tim would share with Stephen as he set out on his own.
Lessons like: Be open to and unashamed of the possibility that you might be wrong. Take stock of where you’ve been, but don’t dwell on it. If you show up to class on time and sit in one of the first three rows, you will succeed.
We asked Tim about some of the rules and why he felt they were important.
Rule number 8: “Take a couple of back road trips to California.” Why California, we asked Tim.
“California is just one of thousands of possibilities,” he tells Wandering Tastes. “The point is to find new places and meet new people. To me, California is symbolic of the great wide open- a place to explore and try new things.
“Travel forces us to encounter places and people outside of our sphere. It challenges our independence, our self-reliance, our confidence, and our narrow understanding of the world.”
Rule number 44: “Look for beauty in the mundane.” This rule made us pause especially in light of all of the negative news we’ve been hearing. Should we assume that wherever we go, even when we see horror, sadness and destruction, beauty exists? Our world today is so different than our world just a decade ago. How do we show our children that the world is vast, beautiful, rich with wonder and not always in the financial sense?
“Beauty exists most particularly in the midst of horror and sadness,” Tim reminds us. “Think about every single tragedy that has been visited upon the human race. It’s staggering. Wars, famine, terrorism, destruction, individual failures…the list is endless. Now think about the way we have relied upon one another to make it through these tragedies. The collective human spirit is unbreakable. There is an awe-inspiring beauty in this alone.”
Tim admits the world around us is both horrible and beautiful but he adds that it also is up to us decide which one we will foster.
His book is full of great reminders, whether you’re male or female, young or old.
In the first half of the book, the 50 rules are listed quickly, independent of any explanation—a format that appeals to the younger, Twitter-raised, 140-character generation. At the end, Tim gives the backstory to each rule, explaining his personal life experience that makes the rule so relevant.
Tim recognizes the importance of traveling. He loves road trips especially since it’s rooted at the ground level and affords us opportunities to meet people on the open road.
“The only way to get the full benefit of travel is to meet the people where you visit,” he says. “Go out of your way to meet the locals.”
He cautions from having such a well-thought out plan that you miss the point of enjoying the experience. “In order to truly get away, we need to immerse ourselves in the adventure,” he says in his book.
We couldn’t agree more.
Would you like your own copy of Tim Hoch’s 50 Rules for Sons to read or share? Comment below on our website page and we’ll choose a winner at random.
Megy Karydes is founder of Wandering Tastes, a lifestyle and travel site that is meant to inspire adventure and exploration through traveling and food. She’s also a regular contributor to 10best.com which is part of the USA Today Travel family and TravelingMom.com as Foodie TravelingMom among other print magazines and online media outlets.