Several years ago, I began working on The Royal Lessons. Here’s the reason for the name and its purpose:
It actually starts with my son’s name.
After 8 long years of trying for a baby, my wife, Bethany, and I finally conceived. During the pregnancy, we began the careful selection of choosing a name. Names are important. Your reputation, your true worth is tied to your name. We did not want to be careless in picking a name. We wanted a name that had meaning, but also included the baby’s heritage. We had a son. We named him Alexander Ong Fine.
Alexander is a special name. We call him Alec for short. It means warrior/defender of man. Many would first think of Alexander the Great. He certainly was a warrior king, but it is the “warrior/defender of man” that I found to be of great importance. What were our hopes for our son, that we would call him a defender of man? We wanted to raise a man that would help those that needed it. We wanted to raise a protector, not a bully.
Ong is my mother’s maiden name. The name is a reminder of a legacy, that I did not want to be lost with my descendants. My mother’s family came from Indonesia. They fled the country in a turbulent time and came to America with hopes of a better life, a safer life. They did just that. They came and did what what was needed to survive. In time, they began to thrive, and my grandparents left an amazing legacy. Ong is a Chinese name as my family’s heritage has it beginnings in China. Ong translates to king.
Fine is also a name with a special heritage. Our ancestors can be traced back to the 1300’s and came to America in the 1600’s. I am constantly amazed how often I run into someone with the same last name. Often, we can find out where our lines branch, which makes for interesting conversations.
So yes, we did name our son King Al. Of course, we don’t call him that. He is our precious little boy who is very aware of his name. He is reminded of it, often when he is not living up to it.
For most of my life, I have been reading from the book of Proverbs. It is almost a daily default habit for me to read one chapter every day. There is so much wisdom from this book. Reading from Proverbs has put me on a quest for true wisdom from a variety of sources.
Having this knowledge is one thing, but I think wisdom is far more than just knowledge. It is what you do with that knowledge. It is action. I have not always demonstrated wisdom. More often it has been the opposite. Acquiring wisdom is a journey. You make an attempt to apply the things you learn. You make an attempt to learn from your past mistakes. There is an ideal of perfection in my mind. Of course, I know I will never be perfect, but I can strive for a type of perfection. I imagine what the next version of myself will be, and then, I go after it.
And what I learn along the way, I can pass it on to Alec. I might even be able to pass it on to others. When I first started writing these lessons for Alec, I called it “Lessons from a king to a king.” What began with the teachings I received from King Solomon’s writing in the Book of Proverbs, are now lessons to my little king. They are The Royal Lessons.