I certainly made many mistakes growing up, but I did learn from my father as well.
My father is recognized as a man of ethics, of good morals, or good character. As such, his life taught and still teaches many life lessons.
There were three key life lessons I learned from my father, that have had the greatest impact on my life. To live a life of integrity, the importance of family, and how to treat women. These lessons, I have endeavored to demonstrate to my own son, and those I mentor.
Live a Life of Integrity.
Integrity is one of those abstract qualities that we all desire, but often find difficult to define, and apply. Integrity means whole character, or unbroken, undivided, thus meaning we live a life that is undivided between inward and outward characteristics. It means that we act the same in all aspects of our lives, at home, in the workplace, in the community, on the sports field.
My father is a man who has the same moral code at home, in the workplace, and in the community. I witnessed him on the sporting field, in completive situations, play hard but fair. He acted the same in business, and in raising three sons.
Living a life of integrity is more than acting morally in public. It’s about what you are like in private, behind closed doors. Living with integrity brings wholeness and peace. Your conscience can rest easy, and you can look at yourself in the mirror with pride.
The Importance of Family Life.
To my father, family is important. While work is important, it doesn’t last forever. The heritage of family does. He invested in many ways into his children. Even today, with grandchildren, he continues to invest in family. Although we are spread across the country, we gather together for family.
Although we started life with children, with little money, I have invested in my children. Time has always been a commodity that I have had, and like my father, invested that in my children.
There has been time for holidays, for camping trips, exploring, to play sport, or just to hang out. There has been time to play, to read, to swim at the beach, and this continues even today. I see characteristics of my parents in my children, which brings great joy.
Treat Her Like a Lady
My father never treated a female as second class, but accepted them as equals, even before it was popular to do so. He understood that women are different, but precious. I can recall times when my mother started an auto shop business before it was recognized in the community that women could run a business, let along an auto shop. He stood by her, supporting her, and encouraging her.
More than that he treats my mother like a lady, treating her with respect and dignity. Characteristics that I have learnt and practice with my wife, daughter, and community members.
The older I become, the more reflective I become, and I often wonder what life lessons I missed from my father. My desire in many aspects, has been to emulate him as a father and community leader, and pass on characteristics to my children.
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