My father taught me many important lessons: lessons that shaped the way I see the world, the way I approach my work, the way I conduct myself, and the way I treat others. Naturally, he taught me the basics — “Don’t play with fire,” “Always look both ways,” and his favorite, “Never turn your back on the ocean” — but his most formative lessons were often just bits of wisdom he tossed my way with the casual nonchalance that one uses to state the patently obvious. Well, they may have been obvious to him, but to me, they were revelations.
Last week, Dad passed away. Since then I’ve been thinking back on the relationship we had over the years — sometimes rocky, sometimes smooth — and reviewing the many, many ways in which he made me who I am. These lessons, for him but the work of a moment, were each an integral part of who he was, an irreducible truth, so simple and clear that they required no further explanation.
They still have great pertinence to my daily life, and so I thought I might share them with you during the next several days. Five lessons from my father: On Creativity, Parenting, Opportunity, Humility, and Love.
Watch this space.