Every positive element of my personality stems from what I learnt from my family.
I spent better part of my childhood with my father. I was the ‘father’s daughter’ (we are three sisters).
My father is not an intellectual. My grandparents passed away when he was a child and he had to take care of himself for a long time. He is a man of a few words. We never had conversations about dos and don’ts of life and even the most important lessons that he taught me were in form of one-liners, he once told me, ‘whatever you do, do it on your own.’
At the age of 21, my father didn’t own a house, his job was temporary, he didn’t have a degree, he was a drop out and he certainly didn’t have anyone to guide him. That year he married my mother (who by the way is a housewife).
Today, he is 60 years old he has six children, including me. We live in our own house. All of us are college educated pursuing careers in media, education and law enforcement. Last September my brother had a baby boy – the first grand child of the family.
Just to give you a bigger picture some of his peers who did or did not have parents end up as drug addicts or had psychological disorders or even as forever-jobless. Even the ones who live better lives their children cannot come close; forget about competing, to where we are in terms of education and career success.
He is the leader of a big thriving family. One of his biggest rules is ‘mind your own business.’
He wasn’t clever; he wasn’t even smart. He was honest and hard working but it wasn’t enough to mention on his CV especially when jobs were few and job seekers were in scores. Working conditions were appalling and wages were inhumanly low.
So how did he do it? He was persistent.
For years, he worked hard, as a laborer, sacrificed even small comforts to make sure we had good education, decent housing and enough food.
He retired 13 years ago as a manager in a marble industry, after he got his first heart attack. His bosses and subordinates use his example as a benchmark for honesty and humility.
His objective in life was to give me everything that he didn’t have. The biggest lesson I learnt from my father is if you are persistent enough you can make impossible possible.