Teaching kids good vs. evil wherever I can

Editor’s note: Victor Leal, 41, is mayor of Muleshoe and owner/operator of Leal’s Mexican Restaurant. His diary began Monday and will be published through Friday.

What glorious weather we had to celebrate a day of rest. Thoughts of leisure swirled through my mind as I finished my first cup of coffee in the coolness of my back yard.
I was thinking of loading some extra provisions on my bike and pointing towards nowhere in particular for a long, slow ride. My imagination didn’t have time to paint the pictures of the smell of fresh rain, open road and cool air to be enjoyed before my wife brought me back to reality.
Labor Day or not, she wanted the garage cleaned. My ride would have to wait.
I employed my oldest son Roman and we surveyed the landscape. The task at hand did not seem too formidable; it would mostly take some re-arranging. I would be responsible for my bikes, the rest belonged to Roman. It consisted of an assortment of hand-made wooden swords, shields with red crosses painted on them like those of Constantine’s soldiers, bows and arrows, slingshots and scooters.
Roman loves battle gear. I watch often as he dons his shield, brandishes one of his swords and mounts his steed, I mean scooter. Sling-shot flopping from his back pocket, he wildly rides off to confront tyranny and villains.
It warms my heart when I see him take up for the smaller, weaker kids in the neighborhood, including his younger brother Noah. (Roman doesn’t mind beating up on Noah but he will not stand for anyone else doing it.)
I try to teach him to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves.
My favorite movie is Braveheart and Roman loves Tolkien’s trilogy, Lord of the Rings. These movies are about epic battles, good vs. evil, bravery, courage and an entire host of other virtues.
If you read the paper or watch the news on television you will agree that we are in the midst of great battles daily. We are fighting on a variety of fronts including the security of our nation and the preservation of our morals.
Some assaults are full force and frontal like the removal of The Ten Commandments from our government buildings.
The battles rage and they include and affect everyone of us. Will good men and women fight?
The best line in the movie The Two Towers comes from Sam at a time that Frodo begins to question himself and their entire journey.
Both worn to the point of fatigue from the battle, Sam somehow finds strength to encourage his friend Frodo.
He ends a beautiful speech about courage and valor by saying, “Mr. Frodo, there is still a lot of good left in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
It’s a line I repeat to my sons often. It’s a motto I strive to live by myself.
Hopefully at the end of my journey I can say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the
faith.”

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