Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father when he became a professional wrestler. Johnson has 17 championship reigns in World Wrestling Entertainment. In addition to wrestling, Johnson has also found success as an actor. He is widely known for his roles in The Fast and Furious movie series and recently voiced the Disney hit Moana. We interviewed Johnson in 2013 and talked with him about what he appreciates about his dad and what he has to say to kids in regards to the perception about drugs leading to easy wealth.
Johnson reflects on what he appreciates about his dad.
“I can appreciate that he did his absolute best to love me with all that he had. The reason that I say that is my dad was kicked out of the house when he was 13 years old. It was Christmas Day and my grandmother at that time had remarried after my dad’s dad had passed away. Her husband at the time was a drunk, and he got drunk and urinated on the turkey and my dad hit him in the head with a shovel and knocked him out. This is a true story, the cops came and at that time the cops felt it was the right decision for my grandmother to make a decision between the two. So the cops basically said if they continue to live together they are going to kill each other so either one goes or other goes. My grandmother looked at my dad and said, ‘Okay, well pack your bags.’ He was only 13, so that obviously really damaged my dad in many ways. So as a father today, and as a son, I can appreciate the capacity that my dad had to love me considering that he was never loved.”
“Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards. Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.” Proverbs 12:14-16
Johnson shares about what he would say to kids who think the drug world is easy wealth and exciting.
“It’s very easy to get wrapped up in that, especially when you don’t have anything and you’re running the streets. I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger. I started getting arrested when I was 13 years old, got involved in theft and robbery and a lot of things I shouldn’t have been doing. The last time I was arrested, I was either 16 or 17 years old, so I know what it’s like to have nothing and to feel like, ‘Well I could just out and take it and make money the easy way.’ I can tell you from experience that it’s a long dark road you go down with not a lot of light at the end of that tunnel. It never ends good unless you challenge yourself and pull yourself out of it. For me personally, it was so important to have adult figures in my life that cared for me and saw the potential in me, even when I didn’t see it in myself. I share that with kids all the time. I’ve been where you’re at and I also know that your current situation doesn’t have to dictate your future. Use me as an example.”
Take time to appreciate. Whether it is your mom, dad, mentor or coach, take time this week to reflect on the people that have helped you become who you are. It could have been a sacrifice they made, a word of encouragement or challenging you to make a hard decision. Pray and thank God for their influence. If they are still around, write them a note or sit down with them and share with them how what they did helped you. Often times, people don’t know the impact that they have had on others’ lives.
Be a mentor. There are thousands of children that are growing up in homes without fathers or positive role models in their lives. You can be a positive influence and help shape their future. It can be through coaching, mentoring or even volunteering your time to youth organizations. Many churches and local ministries have programs that connect people that want to mentor with children that need a mentor. You don’t have to be perfect in order to be a mentor, you just have to be willing to share your life and what God has taught you. You can share life lessons, faith-based wisdom, or career advice the possibilities are endless.
Say no. The drug world may seem glamorous from how it is depicted on television, in the movies, or even as described by those in it. But the reality is that it is also filled with addiction, crime, and many involved spend time in prison or jail. If you are wanting to turn your life around, there are many churches and programs that help people with drug and alcohol addictions. Ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to go with you to get help.