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Lessons from my father

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Lessons from my father

— By Michael Lafrance

When I was a little boy, our family owned a very rusted-out 1969 Cougar convertible. I can remember driving by a gas station in this car with my father and seeing a man fueling up his shiny, new Porsche 911 (1980’s Porsche rock, am I right?). With my thoughts turning quickly to the gaping hole that was forming in the floor of our back seat, I innocently turned to my father and asked, “Dad, why doesn’t everybody drive a Porsche?”

“Well, they are very expensive,” my father began, “and that man had to work hard to earn the money it costs to buy one.” With a smile that extended only the corner of his mouth, he went on to explain that the man likely dreamed for a long time of owning such a beautiful car, knowing that he’d need a good job in order to afford it one day. He also would’ve first had to plan for a solid education to get that job — an education like the one I’d have to start planning sooner or later.

Of course, at that age, I could not conceive a notion past the actual cost of the car, but now I know my father was trying to teach me something: He wanted me to understand that success without fulfillment is failure. It’s a process of setting goals, of building a plan to achieve those goals, and of the determination to see your plans through. Simply put, dear old Dad was telling me to make a plan and never give up.

While we welcome the opportunity to give gifts to Dad on Fathers Day, know that he is happy having raised children of character and strength who reflect some of the values that he holds most dear. Values don’t “cost” anything, but in demonstrating by the way you live each day that you retain all the many things he taught you, you’ve given him the richest gift of all.



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