Reflections on Fatherhood

by Mike Jaffe
Being a dad saved my life.  In our roles as fathers we make so many choices each day that impact not only our own lives, but those who look to us for love, support, guidance, boundaries, and modeling.  For me, one of those small decisions that I made was to go in late for work one random morning so that I could have breakfast with my wife and daughter.  It turned out to be a fateful choice as that particular morning was 9/11 and I worked at the top of the World Trade Center.  That breakfast with my little girl saved my life.

Had I placed my role as father lower on the priority list, I would not be around to share this with you.  Mind you, this is not about being irresponsible or reckless. But rather about making powerful choices that are aligned with our core values and finding a way to make it all work.  On that September day I learned so many lessons, not the least of which is that little things count, even 20 minutes of quality time with my family.  (my son has since been born). 

In these challenging times, we have seen that buildings fall, houses are lost, financial stability is a myth and life itself can be so fragile.  It is deceptively easy to let the strain our external situation steer our ship.  So let us remember that as fathers, our core responsibility is to love our children unconditionally, teach them how to make powerful choices and to be accountable and responsible for those choices, prepare them for the world by modeling how to handle the hard times as well as the good ones, give them enough boundaries to keep them safe yet give them enough slack to get a bloody nose once in a while, and have them really understand that no matter where we live or how much or how little we have, whenever we are together, that is truly our home.  Of course, a good dose of tickles and hugs never hurts!

Mike Jaffe, is a renowned motivational speaker and inspiring coach who guides men and women to redefine what’s possible in their personal and professional lives. A 9/11 survivor who has transformed his own life, Mike serves as a Human WakeUp Call®TM by using his own brush with tragedy as a message of self-discovery and empowerment.  You can read more about Mike’s incredible story at

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