Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Real...




It makes me sad that I failed to fully appreciate all the lessons I learned from my father growing up, but seeing the best part of him (and my wife) in both my kids now reminds me that many of those lessons were still passed on…

The following is an excerpt from the Bio I was asked to put together by the treasurer of my nonprofit for our new website ...

During my childhood, my father emphasized sports and chores as a way of teaching me and my siblings about the value of hard work and goal-setting.  As soon as we were old enough, we were required to obtain jobs, especially if we wanted anything beyond the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. In 6th grade, I asked my father for a pair of Nike tennis shoes, as most of the kids at school were wearing them and I wanted to be part of the ‘in’ crowd. He said we couldn’t afford it but that he had an idea. The next day, after school, he took me to the grocery store where we immediately headed to the cereal aisle. He grabbed a box of Wheaties off the shelf. On the back of the box was a coupon for a pair of Pony tennis shoes if you mailed in $5 with it. Upon leaving the store I noticed that our old lawnmower was in the back of my dad’s Datsun pickup truck that he drove for 15+ years. We later stopped at an older couple’s home, who I knew were out of town. The grass was very tall, but I got busy, thinking about the feeling of those Pony tennis shoes soon to be on my feet. Three hours later, I was sweating profusely, the task complete. When we arrived back at the house, my dad gave me a $5 bill and I quickly cut the coupon off the box, addressed and stamped the envelope, dropped the money inside, sealed it and put it in the mailbox, raising the red flag to alert the mailman that he had something to pick up. Two weeks later, I had my first ‘cool’ pair of kicks. More important, I had a great life lesson about planning and working for what you want.

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