Words of a Father

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Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…

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Father’s Day makes me think of my dad.

I regret not making more of a to-do about him while he was still alive.

Then again, back then, I didn’t think of my father in the same way as I do today.

Many of the things my father taught me were of my childhood. He passed away in 1973 at the far-too-young age of 56.

There were, no doubt, so many more lessons he would’ve taught me as I entered into adulthood. But I’m thankful that I learned a heapful from him while he was here.

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As I’ve mentioned before on this here Pass’er On, my father gave me my first lesson in marketing. He was a stickler for exceptional customer service. If dad caught wind of any company shortcutting their responsibilities to customers, he would make his feelings known.

There was a price to pay for cutting corners. Dad would have nothing of it.

Whether it be delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, or hauling hay for farmers, dad taught us that our work was our bond and our word was our handshake.

To dad, a handshake was a contractual agreement.

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Dad taught us so much. But there’s one lesson in particular that I’ll never forget.

It was the time that my brother Mike and I bought a set of lawnmowers. My father had to co-sign for those mowers… but he made darn sure that we also signed the promissory note.

Dad said, “Boys, you’ve said to this person that you’ll pay back what they’ve extended to you, per this written agreement.”Then he paused and looked us dead in the eyes and said, “That is your promise… and don’t you ever forget it.”

Since then, over the years, I’ve faced many a financial challenge. But through those struggles, I’ve paid back every dime I’ve ever owed. With interest too.

I’ve never reneged on any of my debts.

That’s important to me. Because it was important to my father.

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Dad told us, “You make sure you learn something every day that gives you a reason to be alive. Because, if you don’t, you might as well be dead.”

Dad didn’t mince words. He said it like he saw it. And he meant every syllable.

The foundation of my life is built on the words of my two fathers. One, genetically. The other, Heavenly.

Their words shaped and continue to shape the man I am today.

Fathers, what lessons are you teaching your children? Whether you realize it or not, they’re hanging on your every word.

The question is… are your words building them up? Or tearing them down?

Be careful what you say.

Happy Father’s Day.

Thanks for reading.

Francis Pass

P.S. – “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”Proverbs 23:24

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