It is such an honor to call my Dad one of my mentors. After having worked with high school kids for a lot of years I have seen countless young men who did not have any relationship with their fathers. My dad has taught me many things over the years. A few things stand out:
Hard work and “stick-to-itness” is at the top of the list. I rolled my eyes every time we headed out of the house early on a Saturday to go build fence, work the cattle or cut firewood. I often cursed those times under my breath, but am so thankful that my dad taught me the value of a strong work ethic. It has been an invaluable tool throughout my life.
I have also learned the importance of serving others from my dad. He had been in a vocational position for a lot of years where he has been at the top. He has had every “right” from the world’s standards to sit behind his big desk and let others serve him. He has taken a different road, and has always put the interests of his employees and taxpayers (he is the chief tax appraiser for our county back home), above his own. As my friend Peter says, “The way up is down”, and that is the model my dad has followed throughout his career.
My junior year of college my dad became a facilitator for Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. My personality is geared toward this type of teaching so I had him take me through the material and loved it. To this day I often think about how many of these habits have been formed in me over the years. I am grateful to my dad for taking the time to pass on these great truths to his son.