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My Father MEET TOM’S DAD With Father’s Day right around the corner, I want to spend some time reflecting on the man who, in a very real way, helped me get where I am today. My father has always been an inspiring example to live up to, even when I was too young to see it. Like many things in life, it can take some time and maturity to recognize just how much someone has given you.
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get frustrated with me or pull the “because I said so” card, my father took a very different approach. If I was going to argue, I was going to learn how to do it right. He got me to join the debate team, and the rest, as they say, is history. Thanks to him seeing the talent I didn’t even see in myself, I’ve found a career I love. In fact, my legal career was jump- started thanks to my father. During my undergraduate years at the University of Kansas, I was offered a file clerk position at a firm in Kansas City. This is the kind of opportunity prelaw students dream of, but there was one problem: I was living in the dorms in Laurence, nearly an hour’s drive from the law firm. And I didn’t have a car. That’s where my father came in. The moment he heard about the opportunity and my transportation dilemma, he began taking his lunch break to pick me up and drive me all the way to my job. He did this for a couple of months. It was a sacrifice of time and energy I still struggle to fathom. At the end of it, my parents gave me one of their cars. If that’s not going the extra mile for your kid, I don’t know what is. And I don’t want to give the impression that my father only benefited me. He’s a very spiritual man who’s always looking for ways to give back to the community. When I was in college, he volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, mentoring a young man named Kimani.
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My father and stepmother opened their hearts and home to him, giving him the stable life he needed. Today, Kimani is a member of the family! I’ll even admit that my father shows his compassion through his work. This is a strange thing for me to acknowledge as a personal injury lawyer because, ironically enough, my father’s an insurance adjuster. Our professions rarely see eye to eye, but my father really is one of the good ones. He views it as a job that has to be done well, not just a means of minimizing losses for his company. He doesn’t lose sight of the people behind the claims he evaluates, and for that, I respect him deeply. After a 40-year career as an adjuster, my father is retiring at the end of this month — and on his birthday no less! The insurance industry is going to be losing one of its best, but I’m beyond happy for him. He’ll have more time to enjoy the great outdoors, and he even plans on doing some writing. As he moves into this new chapter of his life, I can’t help but look back on all the ways he’s helped shape mine. Being a father is tough, but if I may say so, he did a fine job. Happy Father’s Day,
My father is, and always has been, really big on doing the right thing. From the time I was little, he always emphasized the value of treating people right and seeing things through. For example, there were times in my adolescence when I wanted to quit a sport half-way through a season, and he’d explain to me that I needed to stick it out to the end. I’d made a commitment, and my team was counting on me to be there — that was that. These early lessons in morality no doubt shaped the founding philosophy of our firm. Insurance companies have an obligation to help their clients when they’re injured. We fight to hold them to that agreement. Winning these battles against such large companies takes quite a lot of experience in strenuous debate. Thankfully, my father also provided me with plenty of opportunities to practice. Like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything. So I usually found myself arguing with people who knew better — namely, my parents. Rather than
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