My view of the world through words & photos
In an earlier post, I shared my belief that my parents are brilliant. I gave an example about how some of my mom’s brilliance shone forth in how she was able to have amazing conversations with me. Because of the length of that post, I decided to share some of my dad’s brilliance in his own post.
My dad is one of the most generous people I know. Through the years, I have had dozens of friends comment on how much they want him to be their dad because of his giving nature. Now, let’s be clear – Dad didn’t go around handing out money or gifts to my friends to make them like him. While he often treats them to dinner with us when he visits, it is his attitude around them that makes them see how blessed I am to have him as a dad.
One friend said she felt as though she was family every time she was around him. She said she felt that he really cared about what she was doing in her life. She said that he asked questions and made comments during their conversations that showed he was actually listening.
The next time my friends were around my dad, I paid attention to how they interacted. I saw how my dad showed my friends respect. He offered advice only if asked. He didn’t try to show them how much more he knew or that the things they were talking about were minor and insignificant just because they were so much younger than he was. He didn’t look away from them or at his watch as if there was someone better to talk with or some other place to be. I saw that they had a conversation with him as though they were very important to him. I then realized they were important to them. He extended them the same courtesies he gave his own friends and business associates.
My dad knows how to make my friends feel special. While, technically, they are outsiders to my family…through his actions and conversation, my dad quickly makes them feel that they are part of our family.
This is a gift. The ability to meet strangers, find what is important to them, and make them feel comfortable and “at home” takes great skill. And Dad does it with such ease. I can only hope I have a small piece of this gift after years of observing it in action.