Given the very challenging year that we have had with the global pandemic and the rolling lockdowns that have increased uncertainty and fear, I thought it would be good to revisit some wisdom from my father.
My father, Larry Stein, passed away almost exactly 2 years ago. After battling liver cancer for a number of years he was ready to go and I was fortunate to be by his side with my mother as he took his last breath.
When we face challenging times we need to remember what is important (many people are pretty burnt out and stretched thin right now, so this seems to feel like the right timing for a reminder). My father was such a kind soul, many people appreciated his advice, here is some of the wisdom he imparted on me:
- Be Kind and Smile. Sometimes we get so busy with work and other tasks that we can be a bit robotic and abrupt when dealing with other people (including our loved ones). Rather than getting upset with others my father would just smile. You get a lot further with others when you smile and be kind.
- Put Family First. My father loved our family. He loved my mother and his grandkids and would do anything for them. When I was a kid he would work long hours to provide, but when he got home he would always have time for me. I also saw this when he was with his grandchildren and how he spent time with them. This included having them ride on his John Deere ride-on-mower until they would fall asleep, he had such a big smile on his face. He showed me the importance of putting family first. Remember work is temporary, but family is forever (so don’t wait to let them know how much you love them!)
- Leave a Positive Legacy. This is something that he did not talk to me about, however it is something that he has left. Once he passed I posted the news on Facebook and the comments that came back were incredible. High school friends from over three decades ago remembered him and his kindness. Many also mentioned that he was one of the best bosses they ever had and that the advice he provided made a massive impact in their lives. Legacy is about what you leave behind that others remember. Live your life to leave a positive legacy.
Sometimes we need to remember the fatherly wisdom that has been shared, and use that to help us keep our priorities in line.