Wednesday, December 31, 2008

lessons from my father

3/9/2002 again:

hard work

work, women and what we won’t do in public. things my father never told me about. well, not in so many words. what i’m trying to say is that my father didn’t exactly sit me down and talk to me about such things. he didn’t have aphorisms or proverbs – words to live by – to pass on. his actions spoke many a word and much louder even.

on a few occasions however – in those teachable moments – he’d turn to me and share a thought or two. he’d tell me i was in the wrong and why. or he’d be speaking to others but i’d hear. and all this time – the time that’s passed – i didn’t realize i was listening.

i listened to my father talk about hard work. work ethic. that some are blessed with talent. a gift to play or write or perform. and that some – although not many see it in that light – are blessed with the ability to work hard. work ethic. he was blessed with that. my father.

i listened to my father talk about respecting women. not slandering women. not judging women. not making woman feel uncomfortable. he respected women. my father.

i listened to my father talk about being frank. open. honest. about having the confidence and integrity not to scheme. if you can’t do something in public (in view of people) don’t do it in private (behind their backs). he didn’t do things behind people’s backs. he didn’t scheme. he was decent. open. honest. my father.

those are the things my father never told me about. those are the things my father talked about. and was about. i listened. i saw. i didn’t know. but now i know.


  1. it's amazing how much we learn from others simply by seeing their example, watching how they carry themselves and treat others.

    my father taught me so much that i can hardly grasp everything and it's only now that upon reflection, looking back, seeing how i have turned out, both the good and the bad, that i can see how much of my father is reflected in my life. it's a beautiful thing really. just feel lucky, fortunate, blessed that i had someone like that in my life to show me those things.

    as a former teacher, i know that students will most likely not remember the differences between cells, the function of mitochondria, or other points that i taught. i do hope that at some point they could feel and appreciate the passion that i had for biology and that somehow in someway they saw in me a positive person. and in this crazy world maybe someone is better for it, much like i'm better because of my father and others like him that have taught me so much.

    thanks for sharing.


  2. as your former student, i can't tell you how much i appreciated (and still appreciate) the passion, patience and presence i saw in you... especially at a time in my life when i was struggling to find any of the above.

    be well groz.

    peace :)

    p.s. is there such a thing as a 'former teacher?'