Now that Mother’s Day has passed and we are approaching Father’s Day, I thought I’d share a piece from my new book, WIN: Simple Insights to Help You Win the Game of Life.  (Let me know what you think.)


Many of our last names are derived from the first names of our fathers, such as Johnson, Stevenson, and Jackson. This is consistent among cultures around the world where many common surname prefixes such as de-, ben-, van-, Mac- literally translate as “son of.”

A person’s last name, typically given by the father, can reveal a lot about the family. The name can provide insight regarding the family’s economic status (e.g., Carnegie, Rockefeller), as well as the family’s reputation, (“You know those Petersons are good people” or “I wouldn’t get involved with those Joneses”).

More important than the father’s name is the father’s presence in the family. Since a child’s identity is rooted in the lives of the mother and father, a child’s parents have the responsibility of teaching their children about their heritage. Consequently, much of the child’s identity is rooted in the influence and example of its mother and father.

When a father is either absent or silent, the child cannot benefit from a first-hand, fair account of that side of their history. In essence, when a father is not present, a portion of that child’s identity has been stolen.

Fathers, commit to being present in the lives of your children.

(To learn more about the book, visit