Growing old is the best. I never thought I would say that, much less believe it, but it is true. My whole life, I have admired the elderly—old men in particular—I just haven’t always been able to articulate why.
Lest you think I have lost my mind, I acknowledge that growing old is also wrought with challenges. Aches and pains come with the territory, and though their severity may vary from person-to-person, they are all significant and sometimes severe. Battle scars are part of the arrangement, however. Perhaps that’s why the elderly have such wisdom to impart, but you will never know if you don’t take time to listen.
I am still learning. I suppose that will be true throughout life. I hope so. Knowledge is one of the joys of our existence. Fortunately, throughout my life, I have had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some really fine people and learning from them. This includes men and women of all ages and many generations. I mean, these people are not your average Joe. They are incredible. Since Father’s Day has just passed, I am going to direct my comments to a few of the fine dads I have known. Some are related. Most are not. Some are living. Others have passed. All are exceptional and have made a difference in me.
Do yourself a favor. Find an old fellow in your circle of influence and tell him why he has made a difference in your life, then listen. It could be a friend or family member, someone in your neighborhood or congregation, a teacher or war veteran. Every father has a story; every story has value. And every time we earnestly listen to the experiences of the elderly, we help ourselves, honor them, and perpetuate respect for those who gave us life. Give them the honor they deserve. We just need to take the time to listen. Father’s Day is celebrated annually. But making time to listen to them will definitely brighten your day and inspire their whole week, possibly their entire year, or even a lifetime. Fathers should be celebrated consistently, so in light of that sentiment, I am going to direct my comments to a few of the fine dads I have known. Some are related. Most are not. Some are living. Others have passed. All are exceptional and have made a difference in me.
Some of their exclusive qualities I can only hope to emulate, yet they bless me every day and a partial list includes the following:
- Stand in the background and let his children and spouse be recognized
- Wisdom that surpasses knowledge without experience
- Good humor and fun, accepting roles where he can influence others for good
- Kind hearted, helpful, friendly, and respectful
- Harbor many talents that are unique and valuable. He shares them with others and uses them to build and mature boys
Who are these men? These are the men that have set examples for me and helped me grow into the person I have become. I made a list. It was much longer than I expected. I presume that’s what will happen to you as well. Then take a moment to write a note of thanks to each of these men. Most have no idea they are even on your list. I expect some feel long forgotten.
Keep writing until you have completed and distributed a note to every person on your list.
I guarantee. You will make this the best Father’s Day for you and them.
You are commencing a journey you’ll never forget.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.