Just got off the phone with my father in law. He’s a salt of the earth kind of guy. He’s so proud of his kids that he can’t sit still when he’s talking to you about them. He has dedicated years of his life to working with his church and community on projects big and small. He’s not the kind of guy to be at the front of the stage on the mic telling you how great he is or giving you some speech on whatever the topic de jour is. He is not the leader, the generalissimo, the grand poobah, the boss, the chief, the numero uno. No, not him.
He is the guy you ask to help you when you need a hand to get that large thing off the truck and into the back yard. He’s the kind of guy who never complains about the chores his wife gives him. Ever. He’s the guy that works diligently in the background, and without whom no project big or small would get done. He’s not flashy and never demanding. He’s just a very decent man who is grateful o God every single day for his life and his families success. He’s a salt of the earth kind of guy without nothing happens.
I love him and deeply respect his commitment to his family, community, and faith. Perhaps it would surprise you, or not, to know I am a non-believer and if I am non-believer why respect this mans faith? Because it is honestly earned over years of prayer, faith, and thought. He doesn’t have a hateful bone in his body and really, really loves his fellow human being as he would be loved by them. Open, honestly, and with a significant depth commitment and faith. Again he’s a salt of the earth guy.
While I have much clear criticism of the Boomer generation one of the things I can not fault them for or the best of them as evidenced in the life and work of my father in law, was their commitment to his family, community, and faith. Often with the courage to question about their views and assumptions. Without these best examples of their generation so much would not have gotten done and so many rights we take for granted would not exist.
So after hearing his voice this morning and taking the time to hear his stories and opinions on the world and its effect on his community. I am forcefully reminded by his decency and compassion. His life has been far from easy, his challenges personal and in work have been at times overwhelming, but through all of that he soldiers on. Not for himself but for those he loves.
If I achieve only a 1/10th of his life work, then I will count myself lucky, and if I can reach the back 20 of my life and be as wise as he is, then I will be blessed indeed.
He’s a slat of the earth kind of guy without home nothing gets done and without him, change for the better never happen.