Parents beam when they talk about their children, and when they hear glowing reports about their children from others. Nowadays, every time I hear others speak highly of my parents, I too beam. However, it’s less like “O my gah I’m so proud of them.” It’s more like I beam with inspiration. That is how you lead by example.
As a teenager, anytime my mother could send me in her place to one of my father’s business related, social shindigs, she would—and I went willingly and eagerly. I love social events, meeting new people, and chatting about all sorts of things. And as I observed the way others interacted with my father, and how they spoke of him, the only thing I could think of was that that’s what I want to be when I grow up—highly respected as a leader and colleague, and as a human being in general.
This has sunk in even more in the last few months. Oddly enough, just as I was preparing to move to Nashville, my father’s company bought out a company here as well. So, I’ve gotten to know a couple of his colleagues out here, and it has been a true blessing.
It’s one thing though, to hear from them how much they love my dad; it’s another to hear from their spouses, “I’ve heard so much about him, I can’t wait to meet him,” or “I’ve heard so much about him, I’m so glad I finally get to meet him.” When I heard those responses, I thought wow, that’s really cool.
The same thing goes for my mom. My mom works at one of the local post offices back in my hometown, and it’s the one in my high school’s neighborhood. Thus, she’s always running into my friends or their parents. So, whenever I get nice text messages from someone who stopped in to see her, it makes me smile. I mean, I can just tell by how many random presents she gets from her customers, too, that she is well loved. In fact, there is one elderly man, who must think so highly of her, because he has somehow taken a liking to me for just being her daughter. The thing is, I’ve never met the man in my life, but every year he remembers my birthday and gives me a birthday card. I’ve never known anything like it, but I can only attribute it to my mom being awesome.
I think my favorite thing that someone has said about my mom recently, was when my boyfriend said to me, “I really like your mom. She makes me feel very comfortable and welcome in your home.” I think he took it as a sign of approval, but the truth is it has nothing to do with her approval for him. That’s just how she is. She welcomes everyone into our home. And I thought that that is so wonderful. My mom has a way of spreading warmth that is just so natural it makes other people feel loved.
So parents, when you think your children are not paying attention, rest assured that they are. I think when you’re in a position to be an influence on anyone, it’s an incredible gift. But it’s kind of like faith and religion. You can go to church, preach all you want, but what really matters is what you do when you’re not in church, and when you’ve stepped off of your soapbox. That’s when the real magic happens.
BIG LOVE & HUGS