Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

You Don’t Care About My Feelings, Dad


My 6-year old son had a rough week in school last week. A couple of visits to the principals office for different reasons. Excessive “armpit farting” one day (happens to be the first day he learned how to do it, so that was forgivable), then punching and pushing on the playground another day (not so forgivable).   During his weekend “consequences” (and they have been plentiful), he looked at me and said:

“Dad, look at me. Now look at the world. What’s different?”

Wow, what a great way to start a story, he certainly had my attention… and I was stumped where he was going with this!

“I don’t know Michael, what’s different?”

“The rest of the world is happy, and I am sad. You don’t care about my feelings.”

Ha! Just when I thought he was going to blow me away with something, I was relieved to find he hasn’t outwitted me YET.

I proceeded to explain to him that at the moment I was not concerned about his feelings. I told him that I am FIRST concerned about his actions, THEN his feelings.  That as his parents, we must deal with one before the other.

This morning, I think that applies to all of us. It doesn’t really matter if we feel like we’re doing great things in the world, like we’re unstoppable, like we’re amazingly generous, loving, intentional. What matters most are our actions first, and our feelings second.

Enough said.

And yes, it seemed to click with Michael too.


  • Marc says:

    Thanks for the post. Great blog overall by the way. Let me offer some thoughts here, also part of the feeling-action relationship. I learned a great formula that ties them all together:

    Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions = Results. Or thoughts lead to feelings lead to actions lead to results. If you are not happy with your results, you have to change your actions (behaviors, communications). You can only sustainably change your actions if you change your feelings about yourself and the world around you. If you feel like a victim, then that’s probably linked to an unsupportive thought pattern (often subconscious) about your own self worth and about how the world works. Work on discovering the thougths and on changing your paradigms and you will eventually see your results change.


    October 5, 2012 at 8:58 am
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Thanks Marc, I’ve heard that before and I like it very much. I needed a reminder! With engineering genes in me, formulas make everything better! Cheers, Johnson

      October 12, 2012 at 10:00 am
      • Kevin Scott says:

        I think, unwittingly, your kid DID IN FACT blew you way, and you missed it (just I like did years ago). Today’s world is so feminized, that even boys are more taught to be in touch with their feelings, (just like a girl), than ever before. In my day (I’m 53), I was taught to SUCK IT UP, ACT RIGHT NO MATTER MY FEELINGS, BE A MAN! Johnson, the fact that your six year old baby was able to articulate the way he did, is in fact EVIDENCE of his little THOUGHT pattern, which led to his FEELINGS, which lead to his ACTIONS and ultimately the RESULT. (That formula again). Your kid was telling you that he acted out because he felt sad. The boy told you that his actions came right out of his feelings. I, humbly, submit to you that his feelings come right out of his little thought patterns. Something was/in on that boy’s mind. This article is a little dated. By now, if you’re still having ACT OUT ISSUES, get closer to your son to examine how he thinks. He may have a lot of bad or wrong thinking that you can help correct now. Don’t be like me… I spent lots of time with my boys when they were young, I was principal of their elementary school, coached their teams, taught them to read and write myself… only to get divorced upon by their mom who wanted “to be free”. Now my 20 something boys complain like crazy that I’m NOT IN TOUCH WITH THEIR FEELINGS, therefore I don’t care, therefore I don’t love. This is the way our kids think today. Feminist, femininzation of the culture. THOUGHTS>FEELINGS>ACTIONS>RESULTS. I’m just now discovering this formula… and the applications seem endless.
        God Bless, Brother! (I found you by accident scoping out this formula thingy).

        June 8, 2014 at 11:44 pm

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