My father taught me to give of my time and talents, even to the point of sacrifice. Like the Knight and my father inlaw, my father was a volunteer fire chief. Both of my parents were Scout leaders too.
He taught me that dogs are part of the family.
He taught me to not just respect my elders, but to hold them in high esteem.
He taught me that skin color didn’t matter any more than the color of a person’s hair.
He taught me to believe in myself and helped instill in me a sense of self-worth. Sadly, I am still learning that not everyone had such a strong cheerleader growing up, and many women and girls don’t value themselves or each other as much as they should.
Some of the things he taught me, I learned third-hand. For instance, my father inlaw shared one of my father’s leadership “tricks” he aspired to follow… Daddy used to pull a firefighter aside and say, “Let’s go for a ride.” That’s when the confrontation or teaching moment happened, not in front of the group. No need to speak softly or carry a stick at all when you treat those you’re leading with compassion and dignity.
While I could write for days, no tribute to what my father taught me would be complete without the line both he and Nana frequently tossed out instead of “Bye”…
Remember who you are and what you represent.