A Good Vessel In Which To Sail
Most of you that know me well realize the respect that I have for my father. I was fortunate to grow up in a loving family unit and I am fortunate to have my father and mother with me today. Because of dad’s upbringing, and probably in large part because of his profession in social work, the family unit was something that dad never took for granted.
I guess as I continue to age I realize that I inherited a lot of my leadership style from dad. He was an avid reader, writer, and continuous learner. He always told me to learn something new every day. Most importantly he taught me to treat others with respect, don’t ask them to do anything you wouldn’t do, and help them be better at what they do.
He was a “servant leader” and believed in leading by example. His work ethic was undeniable and unmatched by most others. His desire to see others succeed was (and still is) his motivation. He always put others’ needs ahead of his. Dad spent the first 25 year of his career dedicated to helping abused and neglected children.
In November of 1988 dad took a job in Brighton, MO as the Director of the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch. This was well over a three hour drive from Farmington where I was in my senior year of high school. I was involved in basketball and baseball at Farmington and not really interested in relocating. My older sister had already graduated high school and was living in Springfield attending Southwest Missouri State University (now MSU).
I ended up living out my senior year in Farmington with my mother. Looking back, I probably tested her patience more than she would admit today. Dad would drive back and forth from Brighton and NEVER missed one of my ball games or events. My parents made it work primarily for my benefit. That’s the emphasis and importance they placed on family.
Or So It Seems
As I go through a similar milestone with my oldest daughter graduating high school, I continue to be amazed at how my father always has something relevant to say or share. He has an incredible memory and can usually pull out a story from his memory bank that relates to just about any situation. Yesterday he sent me a “blog” he wrote in 1989 soon after I graduated high school. This was way before the days of internet, but I wanted to share his writing with a larger audience.
Family for me has certainly been a good vessel in which to sail.