In the role of a father, my mind is a canvas painted with hopes for my sons. I’ve distilled my myriad hopes into three potent points—the essential triumvirate of my paternal ambitions.


Firstly, goodness is the foundation of it all. Goodness isn’t a bland virtue; it’s a fiery, soul-deep conviction. It’s the ability to stand tall when the winds of change howl and the tempest of adversity rages. It’s about being a lighthouse in the midst of a storm, a beacon for others lost at sea.


Secondly, intelligence is crucial. It isn’t just about acing tests or memorizing facts. It’s the ability to dissect the world around, to piece together the puzzle of life, to connect the dots of knowledge into a picture that’s broader, more profound. Smart is not what you know, it’s how you utilize what you know, it’s the wisdom to leverage knowledge into growth.


Finally, success is paramount. Not in the way the world often defines it with wealth or power, but a personal, internally-defined success. A success shaped by their individual dreams, fueled by their passions, honed by their purpose. I want them to climb mountains, not for the world to see them, but for them to see the world.

These three points—good, smart, successful—are the compass points of my hopes. These, in this sequence, encapsulate the future I dream of for my boys.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.