“The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”—Joan Didion
Anyone who is a parent can attest to the fact that it’s a job in this life that never seems to get any easier.
Raising a child is the single most important responsibility that any person can take on.
The moment that your child comes into this world, is the exact same moment that you realize that nothing will ever be the same again. Suddenly, your life will have a whole new meaning with a refreshed sense of priorities.
There’s nothing that you wouldn’t do to protect or help your child.
Having a child can make anyone a better person—or at least, it should. Unfortunately, not all men (or even women) are up for the challenge.
Recently, UFC fighter, Daniel “Ninja” Roberts had a major revelation in his life.
A baby girl.
Please enjoy this very personal and special interview.
James Ryan: Hi Daniel. How you been?
Daniel Roberts: Really good thanks.
James Ryan: First off…congratulations on winning your last three fights in the UFC. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment actually.
You really seem to be hitting your stride right now, which is awesome. I’ve watched you on TV the last couple of times and it’s been pretty exciting to see you up there.
I’m sure it’s been exciting for you too.
Daniel Roberts: Definitely, thank you.
James Ryan: So we know how your fighting career is going. It seems to be coming along very well. But now, you’ve got this new part to your life.
You’re a father now.
Daniel Roberts: Yes, I am. I recently found out about a week before my last fight that I had a daughter.
James Ryan: Wow. So you didn’t know that you had a daughter before that?
Daniel Roberts: Well, not exactly.
I had an ex-girlfriend, and I did know that she was pregnant, and I just…
You know…I wasn’t really ready for a kid, so I kinda just…I got into a big argument with her and I suggested that she not have it.
James Ryan: Right.
Daniel Roberts: But then I just told her not to ever contact me any more.
I was kinda thinking that maybe I did have a child, but I honestly didn’t know for sure until about a week before my last fight.
James Ryan: Well, you seem to have embraced this new role of being a father pretty quickly.
A few weeks ago you had no idea. Now it seems to be the biggest part of your life.
What’s changed with you personally?
Daniel Roberts: I mean, she’s just so adorable. And man, I’d do anything for her. She’s so cute. I just fell in love with her once I saw her.
And I think that there are a lot of men out there who have gone through similar situations as mine, you know?
I don’t know, I mean, maybe there are a lot of men that are ready to be a father, but I definitely know that there are a lot of men out there that are scared. And once they know that they’re having a kid, they start freaking out and stuff—cause I was.
I was just…I don’t know…kinda immature about the situation. But I realized, and I learned from it. Now I want to be a positive role model to other men that might go through similar situations.
So that’s why I wrote a letter to my daughter.
James Ryan: A letter? Well, that sounds awesome. That’s really good.
So ultimately, you were experiencing something that I think all new fathers might go through.
I went through it myself, where it was kinda this unexpected thing. And it’s like “wow, am I ready for this?”
You sorta have this vision of your life and how you see it now and where you think it’s gonna go, and you don’t think that there’s any room for this kid in the mix, but then once you see the child, your whole attitude changes.
Daniel Roberts: Ya, it does. It really does.
James Ryan: Now your priorities change, right?
So what’s the best advice that you could give to “would-be” fathers out there that are worried about having a child?
Daniel Roberts: That it’s normal to be scared. It’s normal to think that you would be unprepared.
You’re gonna be okay and you’re gonna be fine. That’s the advice I would like to give.
It’s natural to be scared and sometimes when you’re scared and afraid, you make bad decisions like I did.
But the best thing that you can do for your child is to be there for them.
So, that’s what I’m gonna do.
James Ryan: That’s a great message, Daniel. Very well said. I’m really proud of you for showing the courage to be a better man.
Thank you very much for sharing this very personal side to your life.
Daniel Roberts: Thanks a lot, man.
And please enjoy the letter that I have written especially for my daughter. It’s my honour to be able to share it with everyone.
A LETTER 2 MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER
To my beautiful daughter Gabrielle,
Words can hardly express how I feel about you but I’ll try. Your daddy loves you so much more then you can imagine, please know that you will be well taken care of and I promise that I will raise you up right and do everything I possibly can to prepare you for your voyage in life. You’re my little princess and you’re the exact description of adorable.
God has a significant and extraordinary plan for your life and you’re here on this earth to achieve so many incredible things. I love you more than anything in the whole world and I’ll do anything for you. I’m extremely glad that your mother is such a wonderful and caring woman. I know she will raise you up right to be a sweet little lady. You won’t understand your parents all the time and you might even be upset at us occasionally, just know we love you and want what’s best for you.
My life changed dramatically when I first knew you existed; you come first now and everything else comes second. You’re truly a wonderful and miraculous gift from God. You’re so cute and when I see you, it brings me joy and happiness. No matter how down I’m feeling, the very sight of you, makes me smile.
Your daddy’s sunshine, seeing you brightens up my day. It’s such an amazing experience just to gaze into your beautiful eyes. Know that life can be rough from time to time and things aren’t always going to go your way; just know that God has his own special way of preparing us for the journey that lies ahead.
My first instincts were to suggest to your mother not to have you. I had a lot of things going on at the time. I was very upset at momma and told her to never contact me again. Sometimes people can make bad decisions when they are unprepared and afraid. Your daddy made some mistakes earlier in his life, however, I learn from them.
I can assure you that I will be in your life from now on. I’ll be here for you whenever you need me, to hold your hand through the journey of life. And I’ll be the greatest dad in the world. Without hesitation I will risk my life to protect you. Always know that you’re safe when you’re around daddy. I will provide for you whatever you need. I know you will make some mistakes in life but I want you to learn from them.
I have a successful career; I’m an inventor and have accomplished so many things. Yet still I always felt an empty void in my life. I still would find myself wondering from time to time, what’s my God given purpose in this world? I now know.
My purpose is to be there for you, to teach you, to adore you, to show you right from wrong, to set an example for other men that might go through similar situations. To help them and to let them know that a great deal of men are afraid and think they’re not ready to be a father. To tell them that it will be alright and let them know they will grow to be courageous and well prepared as time goes on. To tell men that children truly need there daddy’s. And most importantly, show them how to be a responsible and loving father.
I want to thank you sweetie for helping daddy find his purpose in life. Never let anyone mistreat or disrespect you. Be strong; don’t let people bring you down. Keep good company and positive people around you. Be allergic to failure and addicted to success. When you set a goal, be determined, persistent and focused until you achieve it. Be loving, thoughtful, considerate and helpful to others.
I want you to know that you mean the world to me. Please remember to think before you act and always put God first.
With so much love, your daddy,
Daniel is currently scheduled to fight Claude Patrick (Canadian) at UFC 129 on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Best of luck, Daniel!