Do you have one or two special memories, lessons learned, from a parent or special teacher that stay with you and make you smile years later?
I have one that I’d love to share.
My father is a deeply spiritual man, but it’s funny to me that my favorite memories of him have nothing to do with that side of him. They are the more down to earth, simply being a good human, lessons that I remember and cherish the most.
I was in high school and he had taken me to the eye doctor to be fitted for contact lenses (YAY!!). We were seeing a Navy doctor and both the doctor and my Dad were in uniform at the time of my appointment. I remember the doctor asking my father a question and when my Dad replied, he called the doctor, “Sir”. To which the Navy doc politely told my Dad that he didn’t have to call him “Sir” as they were the same rank.
Now let me pause here for a second…..if you aren’t familiar with the military, ranks structures vary between the different branches of the service. And I was thinking, “Did he just insult my Dad by implying that my Dad didn’t realize they were indeed the same rank?” Not cool in my mind.
But my Dad proceeded to politely tell the doctor that the reason he referred to him as “Sir” was out of respect for his position as a Doctor – not because of his military rank.
For some reason, the level of respect my Dad had when dealing with that Doctor, and the classy way he responded and explained himself to him, struck me then…
And continues to put a smile on my face all these years later.
Disclaimer: I do NOT have a good memory and I know I have forgotten many fine examples and lessons taught to me – by his actions, rather than his words – by my father. For some reason, this one remains one of my cherished memories of time spent with my Dad. And I bet he has NO recollection of this exchange of words.
Note to self: You never know who is watching/listening/learning to/from your words and actions.