Littlejohn Law - June 2019

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6/19

BUILD IT. PROTECT IT. PRESERVE IT.

where they work, or where they come from. Just treating people with respect has set me apart from others in so many cases. Whether it’s the guy who picks up your trash in the morning or the president of the United States, my dad taught me to learn what I can from anyone and treat people with the respect they innately deserve.

THE VALUE OF DISCIPLINE AND RESPECT

I’ve seen firsthand how exemplifying discipline and respect has benefited

my dad. He teaches juvenile delinquents in the P.R.I.D.E. program, which stands for Positive, Reinforcement, Inner Determination, and Endurance. Every now and again, I’ll run into one of his former students in the courtroom. They always say he is a good, honest man, regardless of whether they followed my father’s advice in their own lives. He always treats his students like the people they can become and not based on the mistakes they’ve already made.

When I think of what values my father instilled in me above all others, two come to mind: discipline and respect. My dad is a martial arts instructor, and he started teaching me karate and taekwondo when I was 4 years old. Through those lessons, I learned to respect my elders, my instructors, and my parents. I also learned self-discipline and the ability to work hard, even when no one is looking. These values have touched almost every part of my life, and I owe that to my dad. In martial arts, there are different forms, patterns, and routines, called kata, that must be mastered in order for a student to progress to the next belt. In order to master kata, repetition is key. Some masters will practice their forms 10,000 times in order to truly master them. When I was a teenager, I remember my dad making me practice my kata 25 times each day. At the time, it seemed like boring, needless torture. What I didn’t realize until many years later was that the repetition of performing the same moves or tasks over and over and seeing the fruit of those habits gave me the ability to push myself through difficult tasks when I was tempted to give up. The key to many of my successes was that self-discipline my dad taught me when I was young. The respect for others my dad instilled in me at a young age has also been instrumental in how I interact with people, regardless of who they are, WHAT MY FATHER TAUGHT ME ABOVE ALL ELSE

As a father myself, I want to instill in my daughter, Kyzlee, the values

that my dad instilled in me. If she learns nothing else from me, I want her to learn self-discipline so that she can accomplish whatever she wants to. Kids aren’t always eager to learn when they’re

young, but I think of how Tiger Woods started practicing golf at 3 years old. He probably didn’t always want to practice at that age, but the fruit of his discipline throughout the years is apparent. Ultimately, my dad wanted me to be the best at whatever I was doing. And because of his influence, I’ll run, work, and jump through whatever hoops necessary to accomplish whatever it is I need to.

Edward Littlejohn

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