It’s Father’s Day and I miss my dad. I always miss my dad, but today seams different. Not just because Father’s Day is approaching. I think it’s because this year has been a challenging one, and as I went through these challenges, I found myself seeking guidance from my dad more frequently than at any other time since he died eight years ago.
My father was the ultimate pillar of strength: a holocaust survivor, a concentration camp escapee, a one-dollar-in-his-pocket immigrant, a business owner, a self-made man with a fourth-grade education, a proud member of the greatest generation.
From my father I acquired a legendary lack of patience; a love of all things made with meat and a prevailing sense that everyone around me needed to prove their value before I offered anything in return.
The one characteristic I didn’t receive was his overwhelming strength of conviction in everything he did. He was uncompromising in terms of his principles.
He never, ever backed down when it came to defending his family (these stories are legendary in my household. Comment if you want to hear a few. I’ll be glad to share).
He refused to back down from the Nazi’s (more legendary stories available),
He never compromised when it came to his business decisions (just plain crazy stories on this topic). His commitment to his business and his customers fostered a 35-year small business success story.
I consistently ask myself why I can’t maintain my own convictions in this way. Why must I negotiate with myself when it comes to standing up for what I believe is right? Why am I willing to be swayed by others’ arguments. Why can’t I live with the notion that I might disappoint someone in the short term in order to achieve long term success?
Is it a generational thing? Is it an experiential thing? Or is it just me?