We become our parents. The words still echo in my head, many years after I first heard them. What does it mean for me to become like my father?
From a young age, I desired to be like my father. To be successful in life, in business, in marriage, and in family. To be seen as a leader in his field and the community. From a young age, I had my doubts about whether I would achieve this as he did.
It was an aspiration that drove me through high schools and early years in business, as I strove to be successful. Achieving business success does not make us similar, in as much as the characters behind the men. As we have grown older, we have both changed our viewpoint on what it means to be successful, and while not identical, there are definite similarities in our view of success.
For both of us, there was a transition; the journey traveled was more important than the destination. On reflection, I think we both had, and still have a vision for the future, but there is the recognition that the journey to get there is just as important.
The time that my father devoted to my younger brothers and me, particularly on holidays (we took a lot), shaped my moral view of life. From him, I gain my love of travel or exploring new places. It is a passion that I have instilled in my children, and I hope that they may carry on.
The importance of family, particularly of one wife, that we sort out issues, rather than hide from them is similar. I think that without my father’s input, values, and example, that it may have been easier to run away in difficult times. His character, reflected in me, illustrates the love required to stay and fight for what is important. He is, and has always been a man of his word.
As a student, I observed Dad reading all the time. There were books on many different genres and subjects scattered around the house. It wasn’t until I was married that I started to read and read across genres for knowledge and entertainment.
As I gaze upon my son, I see him asking the same questions I did at a young age. How can he be successful and find what success in life is? How can he become a leader and respected in the community, while charting his journey? What does it take to be successful in marriage and family?