By Mohan Karulkar: I once saw an interview with Chris Farley on Conan O'Brian, from 1993. It was right when he was at his SNL peak, doing Motivational Speaker and stuff like that. The interview had me in stiches, as Farley always has.
But something stood out to me when he actually started talking. Conan asked him where the Motivational Speaker came from, and Farley described how his dad used to "blow his stack" out of nowhere. It was a hilarious bit, but it was also a little sad, because you can see some truth beneath Farley's substantial comedic presence. Having a dad who yells isn't comedy gold for everyone, and I suspect that deep down, there was a part of it that wasn't comedy for Farley either.
When it comes to my kids, I have to be really careful, or I tend to have a yelling problem too. And when I saw the interview, I was a little mortified because I know how yelling can come off to a 2 year old. And I don't want that to be my legacy, even if it ends up giving him a career-defining comedy bit.
Everything we do leaves an impression on those around us. Our temper, our coldness, our bitterness. Our thankfulness, our joy, our generosity. Now is as good a time as any to ask yourself what impression you're leaving with those around you.
Give your attitude a second look, and in the process, give your legacy a second chance.
Down by the river.
Mohan Karulkar runs the blog around these parts. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story, or find him on Twitter to share a high-five. This post was originally published in October 2013.