Sometimes kids and adults forget how much resiliency and persistence we can really muster. Life is not always easy, but we can grow as we never give up. I was so lucky. I had a great mentor in my father. It is ten years since he died, actually on May 16th. So in memory of my dad and in the hopes of further inspiring all of you, here is one of the stories my Dad loved to tell, even when he was gravely ill and in the hospital.
When my father went to camp at age 12, he was voted: ·The laziest ·The least deserving. ·The least likely to succeed.
Perhaps this was because he was tall and placed with boys several years older than he. Ironically, he was probably the least lazy, the most deserving, and one of the most successful people I have ever known. My Dad was a loving husband, a loving father, and certainly a loving son. Beyond these roles and all of his connections with others, I believe he was an encourager of the human spirit. He was a realist who truly saw untapped potential in everyone who crossed his path–even me!
I remember him saying that persistence and perspiration would help me meet my goals. He loved to explain that most accomplishments are “Ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.” For example, when I was a teenager he would help me wake up at 5:00 AM if I had homework to finish. “Take a shower, have something to eat and then get back to task.” He was always there to ease my burden but not take it away. My responsibilities were my own to meet, not his. How could he be helpful but not do my job–Proofreading? Driving me to school late? Brainstorming a topic? He never however, did work for me–it was mine to do. Like all good teachers he never promised that he could remove my pain. He taught that I could live with the pain and get beyond it.
He was always my teacher. He taught me how to polish my shoes and to count my packages as I shopped so I would know how many things I had with me. Above all he taught me determination. Never give up. You can do it!