Pay It Forward
The love and joy we receive from our fathers is a very significant part of a young girls development. Yes, I am a believer that a strong father figure counts. He counts a lot. Men who go above and beyond to show their daughters compassion and care should be applauded. I am thankful to my own Dad, who has taught me many lessons and daily tools that make me think, feel, and question. For those of you that have such a dad, you know where I am coming from. Our fathers are the heroes we look up to and the voice that knows exactly how to guide us.
My father is a very serious man but not the kind of serious you are probably thinking. He has succeeded (with the help of my mother) in raising my brother and I, on top of carving out his own dream of working in the medical field. He did his best with opening up our eyes to the obstacles one would expect to learn as a kid, but did it with a scientific twist. He encouraged us to use our brains and make our own decisions – but to do so with the influence of science and logic. That is where the serious and intellectual part comes in. My father is very big on equations and evidence.
Such thinking played a very interesting part when the topic of religion and spirituality were brought up. And, in a household like ours - that was not very often. One of the many things I loved about both my parents is that they never put pressure on us to believe, behave, or preach a certain way. Labels were never their thing and when it came to spirituality – that was up to us.
The “CBS Sunday Morning” show was basically our version of church. My parents loved how informative the program was to us, and how much one could learn and takeaway about nature, animals, and art. To this day, you will often catch me cozied up on my sofa with my cat, Lola at my side tuning into “church.”
However, there was one moment with my father that stays with me. I had just graduated college and was about to head off across the country to start my profession life in Arizona. My father took me out to breakfast before my flight. We got onto the topic of what it means to be spiritual. Being a man of science, he has his own way of wrapping his brain around it, so left me with a couple words of wisdom to think about; “Haley, I believe in after-life, and in many ways you are my after life.” He went on to explain that there is not a black and white answer or scientific equation when it comes to religion, but when one does pass on, it is the people that are closest with them that take away an element of their goodness. It was his way of saying that it is indeed the people in our lives that play the biggest impact to the way we act and live.
If you think about it, how much do you catch yourself acting like your parents, or your grandparents or say something that your best friend would say? Call it what you will but perhaps my father was on to something. Perhaps, the loved ones that have went before us passed along their positive or shall I say colorful attributes to us.
My father’s influence and way of thinking played a big part in helping me become a woman that is able to lead and make decisions that are based on what I know for sure rather than emotions. That has been helpful when I am making choices for my business or trying my best to balance being the boss and when needing to be creative.
What I know for sure is that life is often grey with questions that are not always meant to have answers. However, I think it is up to us to tap into the parts of our personality that are filled with goodness and use it to create and be creative.
Who knows, maybe we will be passing along sparks of our own individual character that will inspire others.