Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there! As I am writing this blog I’m feeling very emotional and I struggled with writing this blog. My Grandfather, Ray Dempson, passed away on January 8th of this year and it has left a big hole in our heart. He lived 96 years on this Earth and saw and experienced so much in his long life. He grew up in the Jim Crow South, served in World War II and the Korean Conflict, remember the day Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. He also had the honor cooking for Marilyn Monroe when she was in Korea to entertain the troops! I mean how cool was my Granddaddy!
So I want to share some lessons my Grandfather taught not just me but my family:
First Lesson — Treat people the way you want to be treated. He really believed in the golden rule. This was probably is number 1 rule. He really believed that if you treated people with respect they will give you back the respect. If only more people would remember to do this today.
Second Lesson — Give your all on your job. Granddaddy worked all of his life. He was born in 1921 and was raised on a farm and when he was teen the country was in the mist of the Great Depression and yet he still found a job off the farm. He was a CC Boy (Civilian Conservation Corp) during the Depression and then he enlisted in the Army. After the military he held several jobs. He retired from Woolworth and continued to work into his 80s. He instilled in my Mom, myself, my daughter, my siblings, and other family members that when you go to work you do the best job you can do and no slacking. He instilled a strong work ethic in us and the importance of doing a good job.
Third Lesson — You can’t make everyone like you! For the majority of my life all I wanted was to be accepted and liked by everyone. No matter how badly I was mistreated I was willing to put up with it to be liked and accepted. My Grandfather would constantly tell me you can’t make everyone like you and you don’t have to let people mistreat you to be liked. It took me a long time to learn this lesson but I finally learned the lesson.
Fourth Lesson — Don’t let people walk all over you! Again it took a long time to learn this lesson especially in my work life but I finally did.
These are just a few of the lessons I learned from Granddaddy. I really miss him! I miss his words of wisdom. I miss the many stories he told us about his life especially his childhood stories. If your Father is with you this year hug him just a little harder because you never know how long you’ll have him with you.