4 lessons from Terry Crews' open letter to his son explaining why competition 'is a poison'

Terry Crews has come a long way since playing the stereotypical role of the unevolved piece of man beef.

In real life, the 50-year-old actor has been married to wife Rebecca King-Crews for 29 years, and the two are parents to four children, daughters, Naomi, Azriel, and Tera; and son, Isaiah. 


Terry has spoken openly about his own upbringing as the child of an abusive father and how it influenced his own parenting in both negative and positive ways. 

"I would wake up to glass breaking, people screaming... we lived a nightmare for years," he said during a speech, adding that as much as he did not want to follow in his father's footsteps, his childhood had left scars. 

"I picked up a lot of damaging things from that drama... I remember times with my daughter Azriel where I would yell at her as if she was a 30-year-old man... I constantly apologised."

Given his backstory, his contribution to Fatherly's Letters to Boys project is all the more weighty. The project sees fathers from all walks of life sharing advice on things they wished they'd known while growing up. 

Also see: Listen up, dads! Here's what your daughters wished you knew

What do you wish you'd known while growing up? What do you wish you'd known while growing up?

Share advice with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

In his moving letter to son Isaiah, the actor relayed valuable advice on competition. Here are 4 lessons he shares: 

A competitive mindset is a dangerous thing 

"I found that I was willing to do near anything to win, whatever that meant. I had one face for one person and another for the next. I was duplicitous. I was selfish... you can’t be competitive and creative"

Material possessions should not be used as a measurement of success

"I had all the trappings of success: the house, the roles, the money, the mask. But what I didn’t have was the wisdom." 

You don't need to pretend to have all the answers

"When I was coming up, a lot of guys would hide behind vague and mysterious replies to all sorts of questions I had about life, about sports, about day-to-day things. 'One day, you’ll understand,' they’d reply... later, I did understand, but what I understood was that these guys just didn’t know and were too embarrassed to admit it. Or worse, they did know but were too competitive to share. So I want you hearing me say I don’t know when I don’t know and helping to teach you when I do." 

Winning isn't everything 

"What I’ve learned is that competition is a poison. It turns one man against another. It turns your fellow man into something that’s not human... I thought I was winning... You aren’t better than anyone. No one is better than you. Without competition, you are free to be generous and receive generosity, free to love and to be loved." 

Chat back:

What do you wish you'd known while growing up? Share advice with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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