Have you ever known of someone who sets an example you can learn from
, emulate, and utilize for the rest of your life? Such a person is my
Dad's ability isn't only finding the good in everyone, but also
verbalizing it. He's mastered building people both directly and to
others. Most people gossip. Dad finds and speaks the good. When he
must correct, it's always with tact and kindness.
Most people relate to others the bad spoken of them, creating
conflict. Dad always relates the good someone said about them,
bringing people closer together.
Have you ever heard husbands, when speaking to others, make unkind
remarks about their wives? It's one of those "macho" things. Sure,
they're "only kidding," but words matter. Examples, good and bad ,
set, especially for children. Dad ALWAYS speaks of Mom in the most
complimentary, glowing terms. As does she of him. They began poor and
built a successful business. Although Dad was the one in the public
eye and Mom more comfortable behind the scenes , Dad always made sure
everyone knew who he considered to be the true driving force behind
My favorite "Dad story" took place when I was 12. We were having
carpet installed in our home. The crew boss was one of those ste
reotypical beer-guzzlin', hard-livin' guys, who would have probably
belonged to Ralph Kramden's Raccoon Lodge from the old Honeymooner's
TV show (nothing wrong with that - just painting a picture:-)).
For lunch, my folks bought pizza for the crew. Dad went to talk with
the boss about the job. I was around the corner listening.
The boss said, "This is an expensive job. Women will really spend
money, won't they?"
Dad responded, "Well, I'll tell you, when they were right there with
you before you had any money, it's a pleasure to do anything for them
you possibly can."
This wasn't the answer he expected. He was looking for negative talk
about wives which, to him, was natural. He tried again, "But, gee,
they'll really play off that and spend all they can, won't they?"
Dad replied, as I knew he would, "Hey, when they're the reason you're
successful, you want them to do the things they enjoy. There's no
greater pleasure." Strike two.
The crew boss tried one more time, "And they'll take that as far as
they can, huh?" Dad responded, "She's the best thing that ever
happened to me. I'd do anything to make her happy."
I was trying not to laugh. I knew he wanted Dad to give in just a
little bit and say, "Yeah, I guess that's true." But I knew that wouldn't happen... not in a million years!
Finally, the boss gave up. Maybe he learned something about
one's spouse. Maybe not. But it taught a young boy a lot about the
power of respect and edification.
Mom and Dad recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. They
still hold hands, and are more in love than ever. Would there be any
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