A man is only as good as his word.
If that’s the case, Michael Rotondo is in trouble.
The long-haired, unemployed 30-year-old with a criminal record uses a lot of words… but few of them are any good.
“I’ve been a father for the past few years,” he recently told reporters who asked why his parents were kicking him out of their house. “That’s what I’ve been doing. I really haven’t been pursuing a career.”
Sounds noble, right? Who doesn’t love a dedicated dad?
The trouble is Rotondo’s not even allowed to see his son.
He lost those rights.
His words didn’t match his actions.
“That’s why I’m not the CEO of a big company,” Rotondo said, seemingly convinced that the words were true. “That’s why I’m living with my parents still.”
But the courts disagreed.
Last week, a judge in Camillus, New York, ordered the millennial’s parents had every right to kick their deadbeat son to the curb… despite the man-child’s insistence his focus was on being a dad and not sustaining himself.
We’re told he was boxing up his room and preparing to leave on Friday.
Sticking With It
The timing of the story is great. It comes just as we’re studying Ben Franklin’s 13 virtues – a baker’s dozen of ideals that will help develop a man’s character and make him a success.
Rotondo could certainly heed the advice of the fourth concept… resolution.
“Resolve to perform what you ought,” Franklin wrote. “Perform without fail what you resolve.”
There’s no doubt the stay-at-home dad stated the best of intentions. He put parenting above his career ambitions.
It’s a worthy idea – one we’d tip our hat to… if it were true.
But Rotondo’s words were hollow. He had no resolve to get the job done.
In fact, when his parents told him to get a job and then offered him cash to move out, he argued in court that he should be given status as a “poor person.”
And while the basement dweller claimed he wanted a good relationship with his son, the relationship with his landlord parents was anything but good. In one instance, Rotondo likened it to living with “deaf people who don’t know sign language.”
“It’s not hard for me to live here,” he said. “I work hard to avoid circumstances in which we have to see each other.”
That’s not healthy.
We argue Rotondo has this all wrong. We say that in order to be a good dad, you must also be a good son.
The problem, Franklin would say, is that the kid has no resolve.
His words are easy… but sticking to them is hard.
Do You Want It?
Of the 13 virtues we’ll look at, it’s “resolve” that has the longest, stickiest tentacles.
It’s the trait in a man that snakes its way through everything he does. If he doesn’t have the will to get things done, well, he won’t ever get much done.
The other 12 virtues will fall apart.
Temperance is tough… without the resolve to get better.
It’s hard to remain quiet… when you don’t really want to be.
And it’s hard to give each thing its place… when you really don’t care.
You get the point.
We don’t personally know Rotondo (he’s not the sort of Connection we’d want to make), but we are confident in our assessment of the man.
He’s got no resolve.
If he really wanted to see his son… he would.
If he really wanted to be a dad… he’d get it done.
If he really wanted to get out of his boyhood bedroom… he’d have had his boxes packed months ago.
But his words are mere shells. They’re noises with nothing behind him.
That’s why he’s a failure.
Franklin measured his resolve with a simple black mark. When he failed to do what he said he would, he’d make a black line in his journal.
It was a steady measure of his resolve.
By concentrating on eliminating those marks, Franklin upped his resolve and got more done.
He made his actions match his words.
Try it… and see where it leads.
We’ll keep you posted on Mr. Rotondo. But we don’t expect him to be taking a CEO role anytime soon.