I Didn’t Walk Alone | Father’s Day
In my time at Northern Illinois University, I attended an upper level sales course that was the focal point of our nationally recgonized sales program. On the very first day of class we all settled into our seats, not quite knowing what to expect. Our professor strolled in and began the class in a way that was unique to any class I’d taken before. He began the course by simply reading a quote. The quote read, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle. The professor turned to the class and made the point that being excellent is not a single event. It’s not helping others and being trustworthy, donating time and money to charity, or being honest. No; being excellent is doing ALL of those things, ALL of the time. Being excellent is a habit and something we must make an effort to achieve. The professor then asked us to think, to really think, about an excellent person we knew in our lives. Truth be told, I didn’t have to think all that hard about my answer. My father is the most excellent person I’ve ever known.
Since the beginning, my father has been a strong foundation in my life. He has given me all the tools I’ve needed in life to be successful and has pushed me to achieve things that I never knew I was capable of. He urged me to be involved as a kid and I found fun in sports like Tae Kwon Do, Baseball, and more! He was at every athletic event sharing advice and motivation between the chain links of the fence or from the sidelines of the field. My father even made time to coach teams or donate a helping hand in his spare time! A’s were always expected in class and B’s were questioned. He taught me manners; honor, trust, and responsibility. These are the values that I live by to this very day. No matter how much I try though, I don’t know that I can ever amount to be even half the man he is today.
My father worked hard to support my family and has always tried to provide a comfortable life to my brother and I. Sure, we moved around a lot in my youth, but every move meant a promotion for my dad due to his exceptional work ethic and dedication. The American Dream is still alive and the proof is in my father. He began his career at the bottom of the company and is now managing their sales for a major region of the United States. Even through the ups and downs of the volatile economy and all the variables that come with a sales career, my father has weathered the storm. This is not an easy feat, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work that he has accomplished!
Furthermore, he gave me opportunities that he himself was never granted in his life. I studied abroad with his blessing and financial assistance. I saw wonders of the world that I thought my eyes would never have the chance to meet. I stood atop the Eiffel Tower, walked in the footsteps of Leonardo Da Vinci, and experienced the vibrant streets of London because of his support. I completed a college degree and was able to take advantage of numerous activities, including backpacking in Tennessee, internships, and leading a number of student organizations. Had my parents not been so willing to support my education, I might have had to forgo my involvement to work multiple jobs and long shifts to make my way…alone. I want to make this point very clear. I never walked alone. From the time I was born to where I am now, I have always had a strong male figure in my life who is there either leading me, or cheering me on from the sidelines in this game we call life. I could get into specifics but the list would be too long for my wordpress storage plan to handle.
The long and short of it is….well…I love you Dad, and while I don’t say it near enough, I want you to know that I appreciate everything you’ve ever done for me. In my humble opinion, you are the shining example that all fathers should aspire to live by and I am more than fortunate and proud to have you as my dad.
Happy Father’s Day.