I never had the chance to know my father, he died when I was just 2 years old. I don’t remember him at all, I have absolutely no memory of him. My sister who is 2 years older than me may have some mere memories of him playing and pampering her but I don’t, I have nothing. I have only some photos and videotapes featuring him in our very few birthdays, he seemed to be a very happy man.
Despite we spent absolutely no time with him, we probably know everything about him. What he liked, what he disliked, what he felt most of the time, but most importantly how he made other people feel. I do believe a quote that says “people may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. This is exactly how we got to know our father. People didn’t forget how he made them feel. He did his best to always make other people feel loved and supported, people always remember him as a generous humble loving kind man.
This information we got from many people, and I am not talking here about his devoted wife-my mother- or his brothers and sisters. I am talking about 3rd-degree relatives, my mother’s family, and acquaintances who encountered him a few times. But all had the same impression, that he was a very kind man. The reason why I know that they are not just saying these kinds of things to comfort us is that they always tell the story behind why they see him as a very kind man. Each story explains how he always gives willingly his money, effort, and most importantly time to support and offer something helpful to these people. They remember these events very clearly -even after many years- and very proudly that they got to know such a great person ,and well I wish I did too 🙂
I wanted to learn that lesson, how we should willingly offer – as much as we can- our resources to other people of need. How time although very precious can be of great value to other people more than just money. It’s not always about money, it’s sometimes about support and comforting. People will always remember when you helped them when they were young students struggling with hard subjects, willingly volunteering to cut off some of your very limited time just to help them, needing nothing in return. I do struggle with this form of giving, I see time as the most valuable asset. I think it has to always serve me and my needs. Of course, I do offer help when I am asked to, but the lesson here is different. The lesson is to willingly and proactively give time to help and support other people even if you are not asked to, or even if they are not your close relatives or friends. This is the legacy that you should be striving to leave behind, it’s not about money, it’s about the reputation that makes your family and kids always proud!
It’s a lesson I know I will have to learn on my own if I want to always be remembered like my father, a very generous kind person.