New York native and entertainment executive Donald Jarmond is a true staple in Atlanta’s budding film and music scenes.
Rolling out had the opportunity to talk with Jarmond about life and fatherhood.
What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
I don’t know about Legacy but all I can say is that it takes a village and you have to be community strong in order to give your child a fighting chance. I was a single father with my son Donald Jr. and I had a lot of single mothers in my community while raising him. I feel my greatest gift was to spend time with as many males as I could and expand their experiences outside of the neighborhood. Examples [include] Paintball [and] bowling. I took a few kids to Destin and went deep sea fishing. I took another with my son on a cruise. One mom needed money for basketball camp and I gave it to her — her son ended up getting a full scholarship to UGA. So if I left a legacy, it is branded in the children that I tried to pour positive experiences and life lessons into.
How would you describe your fatherhood culture?
My fatherhood culture ties back into community sharing with all young males and treating them as my own. What is taught at home needs to be woven into the fabric of the community at a minimum [by] the kids that my child surrounds himself with. When a father and son spend quality time together, it nourishes the soul and strengthens the mind especially when reinforced with love.
From a father’s perspective, what two books would you recommend every child read? There are so many and it is based on the age and what you want your child to learn so I will give you one, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz,
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.
I feel these principles create a sound foundation to live your life by and if executed and practiced at an early age will prove to be valuable throughout life.
As a father and a life coach, describe your playbook.
I never looked at myself as a Life Coach until I answered this question. I have always reached children on their level, learn to listen to them, share experiences that I went through as a child which were similar in nature. Being open to the conversation, letting them know it’s OK and then asking where do we go from here, how do we make it better. I am the executive director of C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute and the missions are to nurture, embrace and educate our young males while giving them the skills to perform at a higher level in society. My playbook is simple — how do I make you better today than you were yesterday?
Why should people read every day?
I always suggest books that leave you feeling inspired and push you to greatness.
Name one life lesson that no one taught you, but should have?
That’s a hard one, I would say it’s OK not to know the answer to something. You don’t have to always be right and everything is not a competition. I am very competitive in nature.
How important is keeping your word?
How important is eating? How important is breathing? I never make a promise I cant keep. When I commit to something I’m all in.
When it comes to protecting yourself at all times, physically and mentally, what would you tell your children?
When they are unsure of how to protect themselves in any situation, to find me.
What advice would you give on being responsible for your own dreams?
First of all, you have to take that dream from your head and put it on paper then it becomes real [or] tangible, now you have to massage it, craft it, create a realistic plan of action and see how achievable your dream is. And if that dream still resonates with you, then you have to execute that plan of action. Do the work to receive the reward.