In honor of Father’s Day I am re-posting this Blog previously written.
My father’s greatest gift to me was himself. He taught me relatively little explicitly, instead he taught me volumes implicitly. My father taught me by the life he led, the values he lived daily. I do not remember him ever sitting me down to give me formal advice or tell me how to live my life. Rather he did something much more powerful: he lived his principles. He was kind, he was generous, he was patient, he was forgiving. My father believed in people and their inherent goodness. While no one’s fool, and a firm believer in high standards, he trusted people and was trustworthy in turn.
Most of all, my father believed in me and in my potential. And because he believed in me, it was easy for me to believe in myself, to have the courage to attempt, to take failure in stride, and to try again. Good training for a budding entrepreneur!
My father taught me the value of a dollar. We all had our chores. No chores, no allowance. When we kids wanted cable television, we had a family council and it was agreed that we each would chip in a quarter for every hour of TV we watched in order to pay for it. (Okay, it was the early 60s. 25 cents went a lot further, it would buy a gallon of gas!) Family finances were an open book and we learned how to budget at an early age. An assistant professor’s salary did not allow for high living. Living in a one-bathroom house with a sister and brother, I also learned time management and to share.
When you live with someone, grow up with that person, there is nowhere to hide. You know his true essence. You know who he truly is. My father was (and is) a good man, a role model par excellence. That was his greatest gift to me, a treasure of great value, an incredible inheritance, worth far more to me than gold or silver, pearls or precious gems. Every day I aspire to be the light to others that he was to me.