This is the coolest news report that Diane Sawyer and her friends at ABC news have ever done. Bar none.
For many parents, there is no more powerful motivator than the lives and futures of our children. We may do stupid things to mess up our own lives, but we will move heaven and earth to make sure our kids don't do the same stupid things.
A sheriff in Richmond, Virginia gets this. In my mind, he is an absolute genius. He offered an amazing gift to the fathers who were incarcerated at his jail, organizing a father-daughter dance for the convicted criminals who had daughters. This served at least three purposes:
First, it encouraged men to remember that their actions have consequences for the next generation. This was the "lesson learned" component.
Second, it was a beautiful act of grace and compassion to these men who are otherwise unconnected to their children. This was the "you're not damaged goods" part.
Finally, it served as a simple way to get viewers like me sobbing like a baby. That was the "Kleenex" factor. Surely the sheriff knew that we would all be touched by his generous and powerful act.
As someone who puts on a big father/daughter dance at my church every year, I know that we can never underestimate the bond between a daddy and his girls. I'm just glad that someone in charge of hardened criminals recognizes that the opportunity for positive influence is ALWAYS present.
We would all be wise to remember that.
*If you are viewing this post in an email and the video player below doesn't load, watch it over at www.infoforfamilies.com.