Darkness. The give of the soft sand. Temperature perfect without a shirt; board shorts and bare feet. The waves of the Gulf of Mexico crashing softly on the pristine white beach. The serenity of this idyllic night broken by tiny feet running, laughing, and screaming at the present “danger”.

My siblings and I are running from the great “black dragon”. This great beast is set on blasting us out of the sky with his flame breath. My father’s cigar burning brightly, as he gains on us, serves as an ever present reminder of the doom about to envelope us. We flap our arms and beat our feet. Taking evasive flight patterns, we scatter to confuse the brute. He continues to gain; he overtakes the blue dragon, and SPLOOSH! the blue dragon takes a dive into the ocean.

Such was the stuff of my childhood family vacations. They have left such a lasting impression on me that on the rare occasion I get to visit the beach I always bring a cigar and wait for sunset.

Pretending to be dragons might seem like a silly idea to many of you but in my family extravagant fantasies were the norm. Growing up on 24 acres of land, my siblings and I were always wrapped up in some adventure; elves protecting their homeland, or adventurers discovering a new frontier. And all this stemmed from my dad.

You see my dad was…a nerd (or a geek, depending on your definition).

He was a Trekie. He had read all the Roddenberry, Shatner, and Star Wars books. He loved the Dragon Riders of Pern series. He had been with Peter Parker since day one. And Dune was one of his favorite novels. But my dad wasn’t just a nerd; he was a successful physician, a loving father, and a fount of Godly wisdom and strength.

My dad’s nerdisms were a vital part of my upbringing, and I want to share two important life skills I learned from admiring and experiencing this quality in my dad.

#1: You be you, and never be ashamed

My father modeled for me that having quirky and sometimes strange hobbies and fascinations were the lifeblood of individuality. He, and my mom, encouraged me from an early age to be myself. They encouraged me to seek my own interests and to never be ashamed of the things that I found interesting or fun.

Gentlemen, this is a critically important message for us to hang on to. We must understand that the most refreshing and vitalizing thing we can give to those around us is, well…ourselves, without pretense, pride, or pageantry. As leaders in our respective spheres of influence, we must be willing to have conviction and to stand by it. We must be willing to cut our own path, and potentially go where no man has gone before. We must be willing to share our eccentricities with those around us.

Life, and thus growth, is found in the simple act of being content with, even embracing, being you.

Life, and thus growth, is found in the simple act of being content with, even embracing, being you. Click To Tweet

#2: The Quest – Knowledge

The other pedagogy of my father’s great nerd-dom was his continuous quest for more knowledge. My dad had an extensive library, but as far as I could tell his pride and joy was his Great Books of the Western World collection. I would often approach him reading the likes of Plato, Galileo, Locke, and Kant. He was a Medical Doctor and a Master’s of Medical Management.

I was too young to truly understand anything he was reading, or what he was saying, but the words, “never stop learning,” will never cease to ring in my ears.

In the literal sense, the learning that my dad was talking about was strictly academic. And this, Gentlemen, is something that we should set our sights on. We should never consider having “enough” knowledge. We live in the information age. We have more access to information than any other people at any point in history; certainly we shouldn’t waste that potential!

But, this lesson goes much deeper than a simply academic pursuit. I believe that the more important knowledge to accrue is that of inter- and intra- personal communication.

Are we self-aware? Do we understand that our actions and words have consequences? Do we truly take the time to learn from our past mistakes, or do we proceed blindly acting in the truest sense of insanity? Are we situationally aware? Are we constantly learning how to better treat those around us?

I cannot answer these questions for you dear reader, but it is my hope that they will bring you to a point a self-reflection; to that point of searching yourself, asking the difficult questions that will ultimately do more to bloom your relationships than any amount of gift giving.

Please comment below if you’d like some help thinking through these often tough questions.

Never settle for mediocrity in the face of knowledge gained, even at a supposed loss. Click To Tweet

Gentleman, never let the ideas of the masses have too firm a grip on your convictions or hobbies. As you continue to learn, and as you continue to grow, enjoy source link https://www.rmhc-reno.org/project/demonstration-oxygen-production-during-essay/25/ beverage resume combine cialis viagra tesis keperawatan jiwa ui how to change my email address on my iphone 6s source propecia online vertrieb here comparative thesis example https://homemods.org/usc/essay-on-the-scarlet-letter/46/ the best writing service critical essay writing help how to write a thesis paper on a book research paper on distributed database management system filetype pdf https://www.mitforumcambridge.org/multiple/english-practice-papers-for-class-7/2/ dissertation littraire plan analytique go https://academicminute.org/paraphrasing/business-plan-financial/3/ acting cover letter follow site supreme suppliers in india flagyl posologia cane go to site a sample of research proposal https://www.innovativefitness.com/perioded/biskup-mering-herbal-viagra/37/ essay lead ins examples anorexia nervosa essay topics source url research paper format business what to write about yourself on online dating examples harvard referencing essay in a book all things are that good. Never settle for mediocrity in the face of knowledge gained, even at a supposed loss. This process is not always easy, but as you continue to learn, as you continue to reflect and evaluate, you will develop even greater character and more importantly strengthen those around you.

Thanks for the lessons Pops, until That Day.
12.10.1954 – 08.24.2006

Mr. Rafal
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