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Growing up in the neighborhood during the 70’s and 80’s, there was so many good people around.

Up or down any street you walked there was a ton of “friendly” and “caring” people, both young and old.

As a high school basketball coach and success-conscious, I often try to learn as much as possible as to what makes someone a good person?

I don’t care if you can dunk a basketball,  dribble between your legs or shoot an outside jump-shot. Doesn’t matter to me if you are rich, poor, Black, Puerto Rican or Haitian.

Your character means a lot to me.

Growing up, I’ll admit I wasn’t the greatest kid; I got into my fair share of trouble and many times, the wrong words came out of my mouth.  Whether it was directed at someone on the avenue, a teacher in Holy Name, coach in the schoolyard or even my late mother Carol.

I wasn’t what you would call a ‘Wordsmith’.

As you get older, you mature. You learn right from wrong and you learn how to talk to people.

One of my favorite things to do is read about people’s upbringing. I firmly believe that your morals and values are taught at home. The foundation is set while you find your way.

We had a lot of solid families in the neighborhood; parents at home teaching their kids right from wrong. Solid structure I like to say.   At the time I didn’t realize the education some of my friends were receiving at home; I also didn’t understand the “lack of education” I was getting at 228 A Prospect Park West. (Don’t get me wrong, not every family was the Walton’s)

Serving and loving greatly are two traits required to be a good person. Understanding others is also key. Allowing people to voice their opinion and respecting that opinion is also a sign of maturity. All things that should be taught in the home.

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about some of the moms and pops from around the way and how they raised their families. The tactics they used. The discipline and the love they provided.

I often wonder how it would have been for me if “so and so” was my mother or father?

Your upbringing is important to your overall success; how you treat people will determine your journey in life.  The things you do shapes your life.

As the father of a 13 year-old daughter, I have a chance every day to teach her how to live; it’s up to her if she carries it out.

And with most of us, in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and some 70’s, our life is a reflection of what we were taught and what we learned along the way.

I don’t recall a lot my mother and father told me but I remember how they made me feel.