The Good in Men: Lessons From My Father

The Good in Men: Lessons From My Father

Over the next few weeks, 2ndVote is collecting stories from our readers honoring the fathers, sons, brothers, and others who have exemplified “the good in men.” We encourage you to tell us the story about a man of significance in your life and together we will correct the misleading notion perpetuated by the left that masculinity is somehow “toxic.”

We will be posting a selection of these contributions and gifting an Égard watch (3 – Neutral) to a deserving man this Father’s Day. Below is on of the first submissions from our readers.

Leo in Texas writes:

Lessons from my Father

Fathers are teachers, some by profession and all by words and actions. Some do a huge amount of verbal teaching while others do most of their teaching silently through examples. My father taught by both methods. My father is a doctor. He worked to put himself through medical school. After his internship he opened his own clinic. His hours for the first several years of practice were 9:00a.m. to 9:00p.m. Monday through Saturday. He didn’t do appointments. When people walked in they signed their name on a list. Their appointment was when their name was next. True emergencies were taken to the emergency room and seen immediately but everyone else was seen in order. The doors were closed and locked behind the last person to see the doctor, often after 11:00p.m. and sometimes after midnight. He taught me that people in need shouldn’t be turned away by a clock. He taught me that outside of true emergencies we are all equally valuable, that nobody should jump ahead of others and nobody should be pushed back behind other later arrivals. He taught me to value time and treat it with respect. You don’t do that by frivolously assigning appointment times that can never be kept.

He went to the hospital before he opened the office so he was up and gone by 7:30 or so. He also went at any time if a baby decided it was time to arrive. After spending six days of 12 or more hours he didn’t spend Sunday in bed or on the golf course or otherwise on time for himself. He got up and took us to church and then we had family lunch. He and I then spent some time playing whatever the game of the day was. Only then was it nap time for tired little boys and exhausted dads. We had lunch together almost every day he was at work, except for those times a baby was arriving or an emergency was in progress. He also called me on the phone 2 or 3 times to say hello and he loved me so even though he was at the office most of the time we were still connected. He taught me family and family time are important.

My dad used to take me with him all the time. He even took me with him for some surgeries when it was ok with the patient. He made a point of showing me the inside of people of different races. He clearly showed that inside we’re the same. Skin color is nothing but a result of pigmentation and genetic code. It means nothing to the functioning of the individual. He taught me that prejudices and bigotry are pointless and ill deserved.

My dad taught me early on to respect everyone, especially my elders. He taught me that they deserved respect because they exist. He said there would be people saying “respect must be earned” and I was to ignore them because they were wrong and didn’t know what they were talking about. He taught me not respecting someone must be earned. From the moment someone was introduced they were to be respected until they did something to show they didn’t deserve to be respected and earned ambivalence.

These are just a few of the things I learned from my dad. He continues to teach day by day. To say that actions speak louder than words is often true. Much of what I learned was by his actions. Words were important also. He taught me by his words that vocabulary is important, as is speaking calmly, intelligently and lucidly in the face of adversity. He taught me there are times you win an argument not by what you say, but by how you say it. He also taught me there are times you win with silence.

I am fortunate to have learned so much. I only wish everyone had such a good teacher and great father.

Thank you, Leo, for this great story. Please be sure to join this project here.

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