The other day I interviewed a local man who I will not mention by name because I did not interview him for the purpose of a post. He began work in town as a young man and as he worked at his job, somewhere along the way he decided that this was what he wanted as a career, but to own the business, not merely rise in it. He did so and not quite fifty years later, he still has a hand in the business although his daughter and son run the day-to-day operation. It is not a glamorous business, but rather one of life’s necessities, and as he expanded it and became successful, he and his wife (she passed away some years ago), moved from contributing to charity to sponsoring a couple of charitable events that have become major fundraisers for both the National Mental Health Association and the Diabetes Research Foundation.
The gentleman rose in prominence in town serving on a local bank board of directors and other boards. In short, he is everything that the American Dream stands for – an ordinary beginning that became a highly successful career with a solid family. A man who created jobs, became a cornerstone within the community, and gave large sums of money to charity along the way. A capitalist – oh yes. A heartless, greedy one – not at all, although I would imagine that business competitors might have a different perspective.
. I asked what advice he would offer to young people starting out and he didn’t hesitate. “Do what you say you will and keep your word. Everything else will take care of itself.” In the swirl of daily drama that we seem to be surrounded by, these simple sentences stand in stark contrast to the ponderous statements that often come from people who speak with no intention of doing what they say they will. I salute this gentleman who has and will continue to live his life by his philosphy of, “Your word should mean everything.”