I never will forget or take for granted Ed's influence in my life. He influenced me to increase my trust in God and to be a faithful husband and father, and -- even though I was a "TV tough guy" -- he challenged me to be a real man. He challenged me with the three keys I alluded to earlier: to be a better role model, mentor and motivator to my family.
What I wrote and detailed to men and fathers about manhood and fatherhood via those three keys in my New York Times best-seller "Black Belt Patriotism" I learned from Ed. Another great book for men is "Courageous," by our friend Randy Alcorn. It's based upon the movie but expanded with 80 percent more story content.
I am not a perfect father or husband. Truth be known, I've learned far more from my failures than from my successes. However, I won't allow them to stop me from pressing on. And I don't believe that you should allow failures to hinder your fatherhood, either. As Ed used to say, "you don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there."
Do you have a few role models, mentors and motivators in your life? I hope so. If not, Ed still can be a part of your life today through his resources found at the Ed Cole Library, at http://www.edcole.org . In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Ed's homecoming to heaven, his children and our friends, Joann Webster and Paul Cole, have curated a special edition of "The Collection," which is a compendium of Ed's lifework in one digital location.
Ed's legacy message is this: If we men continue to fight to be the best husbands, fathers and men we can be, we will not only give our family members what they need but also get in return what we need and simultaneously help to restore our country, one home at a time.
That is what I mean by a man who is more powerful than the president -- not just Ed Cole but you! The president can't make or mold your family without your permission. He might try, but that is your jurisdiction and power, endowed by God. Protect it!
As Ed used to say, "do not let others create your world for you, for they will always create it too small." He also said, "The power of choice is our only true freedom in life."
Only you have the ability to order your private world. You also have the ability to create, hinder or improve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in your heart and home.
In fact, I don't believe one can truly experience life, liberty and happiness as the Declaration of Independence states without a proper lineup of priorities for God, family and country. Those are the priorities our Founding Fathers lived by.
Thomas Jefferson clearly revealed that when he wrote to his daughter Mary the year before his presidency, "My attachments to the world, and whatever it can offer, are daily wearing off; but you are one of the links which hold to my existence, and can only break off with that."
He espoused the same sentiment eight years later, at the end of his presidency, to the renowned explorer William Clark: "By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family."
Now there's a worthy reflection of power and a way to improve your life, your home and our country this Father's Day.