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A Model the President Should Follow

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

After President Barack Obama repeatedly and emphatically promised last summer that Obamacare would not use federal funds to pay for abortions (and even signed a supportive presidential order, to boot), last week it was revealed that federal funds are being funneled to provide for abortive services in Pennsylvania and New Mexico.

This presidential lie is tragically just one more in an unprecedented string of flat-out falsehoods, reaching back to Obama's campaign promise to "clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue" with "the most sweeping ethics reform in history." He repeatedly declared then that "an Obama administration is going to have the toughest ethics laws of any administration in history."


The question that keeps coming to mind is: What about the kids across the nation who have so uniquely looked up to this relatively youthful president? What are they learning from him? Does President Obama naively believe that they never will overhear their parents discussing his array of presidential lies?

What happened to the days when presidents -- and even sports stars -- were role models?

Maybe it's time even our presidents looked up to some new examples of decency and integrity.

I've got just such a person in mind, and he always will be one of my models and heroes, despite the fact that he died just last Wednesday -- 12-year-old Cody Ty Humphries.

Cody was one of several Make-A-Wish Foundation kids who visited my Texas ranch in the same month that Obama was elected, November 2008. Though all the children were certainly special and a great blessing to my wife, Gena, and me, Cody stole my heart.

Cody was born March 13, 1998. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which eventually crippled nearly every part of his little body and spawned a series of progressive deteriorations that ultimately would lead to his death.

All of the precious children visiting my house that day had a wish to meet me, for which I'm humbly honored. I found out later that Cody waited 2 1/2 years to meet me. The Make-A-Wish Foundation asked him for a second wish, just in case they couldn't fulfill the first, but he replied, "I don't have a second choice. You need to ask him. I have to meet him because I am running out of time."

Cody was so proud that his birthday was only three days after mine. Like the other kids, Cody pet our ranch animals and even rode my horse, though it was painful for him to do so.

I was so impressed by Cody that I asked him whether he wanted to see my Western collection. He was particularly thrilled to see the Uzi that I used in my "Missing in Action" movies. I gave him a western belt that I received from President Ronald Reagan. And I also gave him one of my authentic Texas Ranger badges.

Cody's stare was piercing, and his eyes sparkled with his love for life and others. What he was incapable of doing with his body he made up for in his heart and mind. He was an amazingly mature, compassionate and bright young man for his age, no doubt in part from enduring what he had for his decade on this planet. Yet he maintained his childlike innocence and was honest to the core. He saw the good in everyone, and nothing got him down, not even his MD. Even as his condition declined, he adapted and always maintained his optimism. He once said that "love and friendship are something that you can take with you for all time."

As Cody left that November day, Gena and I gave him a big hug. But he wanted to give me one of his "pat-hugs." Because he was incapable of putting his arms around people, his mother lifted his arms around me, and with his palms resting on my back, he moved his fingers slowly up and down as much as he could to extend his love to me. (I was told he rarely gave pat-hugs.)

A year ago last June, I was speaking with him on the phone, and we expressed our love for each other. Then I told him that when we both got home to heaven, he would be my first martial arts student there!

This past week, Cody's mother, Deedee, described a dream he had just before he passed on.

The Sunday before last, Cody's mom held him on the couch as he slept. He later told her that as he was sleeping, he also was standing with his grandpa Gary (who died five years ago), both dressed in white and watching his mom hold him on the couch. Cody told his grandpa that he wasn't ready to go and that he needed a few more days. Later Cody told his mother, "I just want you to know that I love you and that the next time Grandpa visits me, I'm going to go with him."

Late the next day, Cody said he wanted to hug his mom, so she placed his arms around her. He held her for about 10 minutes and then whispered, "Mom, I'm going to pass away. I love you, and I'll see you again when it's your time to come home."

At 5:15 a.m. the next day, Cody departed his earthly body and went to his heavenly home.

Now you see why Cody stole my heart -- and why I think we all should emulate those young brave souls like him. Of course, Cody is not alone. There are many small heroes all around us -- maybe even in your home or community.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14).

He also said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Maybe it's time to quit asking the kids to learn from us and it's time we learned from them.

Maybe we should be more concerned with growing down than with growing up.

Maybe even the president would be a better man and leader if he did.

Maybe we all would.

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