David Morales was able to share his thoughts on fatherhood with me. We talk about his fatherhood journey and the values he looks to instill into his kids. After that we talk about his book, American Familia and what inspired him to write this book. Growing up in a poor, mountainous region of Puerto Rico, David had no idea he would end up where he is today. He is an executive shaping the future of healthcare and public policy in America. More importantly he is a father dedicated to faith, family, and community.
Over the last two decades, he has had an accomplished career in government, corporate America, and the not-for-profit sector. In addition to leading a health plan, he served as senior executive for a multinational healthcare company. He also founded his own consulting company, and enjoyed a rewarding career in public service. You can pick American Familia wherever books are sold like Amazon and IndieBound.
David Morales On Fatherhood
Art Eddy: What popped into your mind when you found out you were going to be a dad?
David Morales: I was astonished! I could not comprehend how Samanda and I were going to care for a baby given our busy lives. We were overjoyed for sure, but also unclear about how to be a father. I did not fully understand how much our lives were going to change for the better.
AE: What are some of the core values you look to instill in your children as they grow up?
DM: I spend a lot of time trying to serve as a positive role model to my two sons. The core values that I pray they embrace are:
· Faith in Jesus Christ. Only through Christ can we truly have salvation and grace and serve as light bearers for others.
· Love for family. Strong families shape and foster healthy and strong people and communities.
· Perseverance. Steadfastness and determination will take you very far in life.
· Integrity. No one can question your character as long as you stand for truth in a kind, respectful and humble manner.
AE: What is something you have learned from your children that they taught you about life or yourself that you would like to share?
DM: My sons are both very unique. Each of them teach me lessons regularly. My son Anthony is very inquisitive and teaches me daily the importance of sound reasoning and logic. Alexander is very thoughtful and teaches me each day how important it is to think about other’s wellbeing.
AE: What is one piece of advice or dad hack you would like to offer to new dads.
DM: Cook for your kids as much as possible. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cooking for your kids is a wonderful way of spending time with them and bonding.
David Morales On American Familia
AE: Congrats on your book American Familia. How did this book come to be and what was the inspiration for this book?
DM: My wife Samanda encouraged me to write American Familia. I had gone through profound personal transformation that led me to kneel before God in gratitude, asking for His forgiveness and grace. With her encouragement, I felt compelled to share my personal and family history in the hope that it might help other families to start a conversation in their homes. I also wanted to encourage fathers to engage in their family and embrace their roles as providers and vision setters in the home.
AE: What do you hope people will take away from American Familia?
DM: Of the many takeaways I hope people will embrace, I share these three:
1. All things are possible as long as you embrace faith, family and grit.
2. Your children are your legacy. Embrace them. Love them. Care for them and live a life that they will want to emulate.
3. Your past does not define your identity or your future. Your life is defined by God. HE has a plan for each of us and our main responsibility is to seek him and trust his plan.
AE: What does your family think of the book and did they help with any part of your book?
DM: My entire family played a crucial role in writing the book. We interviewed every single member of my family so that we could capture the essence of our family’s journey, struggles and perseverance from Puerto Rico to the United States from urban poverty to a life of many blessings. My family’s journey made the book possible.
The Importance Of Fathers
AE: Talk about the value of fathers and why kids need to have their dad in their lives?
DM: Fathers play a pivotal role at home. A good father understands that his children will look to him to serve as an example of what a man should be when they grow up. Fathers are spiritual leaders and set the vision at home. Fathers also teach children about relationships, personal responsibility, discipline, strength, character, tenacity and overall emotional development.
The Fatherhood Quick Five
AE: Do you guys have a favorite family movie that you all love to watch together?
DM: The Polar Express. Every Christmas we watch the movie as a family at least two times. This movie has many great lessons for families like faith, trust and compassion.
AE: Do you guys have a favorite song that you all like to sing to or dance to as a family?
DM: We have two songs we enjoy. Canto Ancestral by Grupo Mapeye, Puerto Rico’s national group and I’m so Blessed by Cain.
AE: Describe the perfect family vacation.
DM: Staying at Casa de Campo in Dominican Republic. Sun, beach, incredible food and family.
AE: Favorite book you recently read was…
DM: Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines written by Eric Blehm. This book has it all: faith, family, perseverance, commitment to serve, love and selflessness.
AE: What are three words that you hope your children would use to describe you as a dad?
DM: Resilient. Tough. Provider.