My dad is a great man. He knows what’s important to him and he lives his life accordingly. He loves my mom, he loves his kids, and he always took care of us.
I’ll share two stories about him.
When I was about 9 years old my mom came home from the grocery store with Pringles, Pop Tarts, and a lot of other food she normally didn’t buy. She told me they were all for my older brother who was heading off to go camping that night. I later learned that my brother, who didn’t like camping all that much, had refused to go on the camp out. My mom purchased all the goodies to encourage his participation.
I remember the excitement I felt when my first camp out arrived. Sure, I was excited to spend time with my dad, who was our scoutmaster, and I looked forward to being with my friends. But the real reason I was excited was that my mom had agreed to buy me the same snacks she bought my brother a few years before. That night I ate Pringles, Pop Tarts, Starbursts, and a bunch of other junk food.
As you can imagine, I felt awful. I woke up sick in the middle of the night. I think I even spewed in another scout leader’s shoe. (Sorry, TMI.)
The next morning we were set to hike for several miles, but I had no strength. My dad ended up hauling my pack for me. He carried the burden that I was unable to carry myself. It may have taken a year off his life, but he didn’t complain once.
The second story took place a few years back. My dad was in town for the holiday weekend, and we were riding through the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. I planned on a peaceful, scenic ride, but we’d spent the past 30 minutes discussing the frustrations I’d been experiencing in my career. I shared my concerns about my job and the future, and my dad offered several nuggets of advice. He finally said, “Nate, I think you should strongly consider getting an MBA.”
I thanked him for his input and reminded him that getting an MBA would be a waste of time and money. We got home from the ride and moved onto other activities, but I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation. Maybe my dad is right, I thought. Maybe it’s time to reconsider an MBA.
After the bike ride with my dad, I thought more about getting an MBA. The more I considered it as an option, the better it felt. Before talking to my dad I had felt trapped—none of my options looked appealing. But when I thought about getting an MBA, feelings of opportunity and hope came back. Eventually I reached the point when I felt ready to move forward. I decided to get an MBA, a decision that has blessed my life in many ways. My dad helped me when I was at a crossroads in my career. He provided guidance when I needed it most.
My dad has always been there for me. Whether it’s carrying my backpack, offering career advice, or countless other situations when I need his help. He’s always been there.
My dad is a great example. I want to be more like him.
I’m grateful for my dad.