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The Medlin News
My Father Always Led by Example HE MADE ME THE MAN I AM TODAY
My father always told me, “A smart man learns from his mistakes. But a smarter man learns from others’ mistakes.” While this quote always makes me chuckle, my dad made a great point — you can turn any situation into a learning experience. Growing up, my father wouldn’t shy away from telling me about his mistakes and the lessons he learned from them. As parents, it can be challenging to talk about our past with our children — we don’t want to disappoint them or be a negative example. However, sharing these stories will help nurture your relationship with your children. It shows them that nobody is perfect and can make them feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and hardships with you. One fear parents may have is the concern that their children will be too afraid to come to them for help because they think they’ll get in trouble. But being honest with your children and opening up about your past creates a line of open communication that encourages them to come to you with anything. And that’s precisely what my father did — he assured me I could always turn to him no matter what I was going through. Knowing he would always be in my corner gave me the confidence to be vulnerable and lean on him whenever I needed it. Because of my strong relationship with my dad, I learned lessons and skills that would help me as I got older and started my own family. When I reflect on my time with my father, one of the main lessons he taught me was to accept everyone for who they are. My dad grew up in a time when racial prejudice and discrimination were very prevalent. But he never let that sway him from his beliefs that everyone should be treated equally. I remember my dad always telling me I should never make anyone feel bad about who they are, their beliefs, or the color of their skin. He taught me it’s never right to judge or treat them differently. I firmly believe this is a lesson we can all learn from — especially today.
Another lesson my father taught me was how to be smart with my money. He was a child of the Great Depression and had firsthand experience with hardships people experienced financially. Because of this, it taught him how to save money and not waste it
on frivolous things. In turn, he passed his strategies to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I understood the value of money because of the example my father provided. It has helped me make smart financial decisions about growing my wealth over time. My father ensured my money never burnt a hole in my pocket! Because I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps when I became a father, I aimed to create an unbreakable bond with my daughter. I want her to know I will always be there for her, no matter what. Being a father is one of the largest responsibilities I’ve ever taken on. And while I had to learn many things on my own, my father’s exceptional example helped me understand the importance of fatherhood. My dad’s lessons helped shape the man, husband, and father I am today. I can’t thank him enough for being the best role model. He was always very patient with me and provided an excellent example for me to follow. I am so lucky to have had a dad like him.
To all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day! Thank you for everything you do for your family.
– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.
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