I have been blessed beyond measure by my father, Thomas Altman. Many of the lessons learned from his wisdom are only now being fully appreciated as my fatherhood experience is in its infancy.
If I had distill all possible descriptions of my father down to just one idea–one that best encapsulates my dad–it would have to be that he has an immense capacity to discern the right path in any situation coupled with a massive heart in his care and consideration for everyone he comes into contact with.
Growing up, my dad taught my siblings and I many life precepts. Some examples include:
- always put others before yourselves
- arrive early and stay late
- whatever we set out to do, always, without exception, give a 110% effort
- ... and we can do ANYTHING we really want to do
- be generous, especially to those less fortunate than you
- viewing or treating people differently based on their race is repugnant
- thinking of yourselves as better than anyone else is also intolerable
- family is important, God is important; they go hand-in-hand
- always do what is right, especially when no one is looking
He told us a lot of these things either in teachable moments, around the family dinner table, or on long car rides. Even better though, these things were modeled for us.
My dad always does what he says far more than he says what he does.
This is how I learned the meaning of integrity.
I cannot thank him enough for the love he poured in our family and into me (and continues to do so). I cannot thank him enough for the examples he set for us.
He set the bar pretty darn high for me to live up to as a father to my own children. I'm determined to live up to it. Yes, dad, with 110% effort.