Lessons From Dad
On Father’s Day this year, I made my Dad a card entitled “Lessons from Dad.” Two weeks later he died. His health had been declining since a fall at Thanksgiving time.
During the last several months, my concentration has been centered on two things: helping our clients to hire some stellar people, and taking care of my family. One of the things that didn’t make the list was keeping up with my blog. You’ll see that again every two weeks starting Wednesday. September 6, 2017.
Articulating the many life lessons I learned from Dad caused me to relive and categorize those things that I absorbed day-to-day growing up but rarely recognized.
Some were part of family lore—you’d have to have been there. Some were basic yet invaluable—like table manners and treating our mother with respect. Yet others were character shaping. Things like:
Be generous—with your time, your money and most importantly with your spirit.
Expect the best of people— trust people until they give a reason not to. Even then, they probably deserve a second chance.
Listen to and respect others –even though and perhaps especially if they may believe, look or seem very different from you.
There are things that influenced the decisions I made in my youth and beyond. They guide the way Rick and I treat each other, how we raised our daughter and how we run our business. They help us to be open, inclusive and tolerant of our neighbors –those who live next door, in other states, in other political parties or places or worship and in other countries.
Dad is gone but his valuable lessons live on through me, our daughter, my four siblings, and through dozens of others he took the time to give his attention or help.
One of those people was Dave, a self-proclaimed lost soul who’d dropped out of high school and was going nowhere. My Dad, “just some old guy,” talked with him about the value of education and helped to build his self-esteem. When Dave earned his GED, my parents were the first people he showed his diploma. When he got married, the ceremony was held in Mom and Dad’s backyard. And when he came to Dad’s funeral, dressed in full military uniform with his wife and 2-year-old son by his side telling the story of how Dad “saved his life,” he cried.
Dad taught me how to be a good human being, and I will be forever grateful.