On this Father’s Day many of us are reminded of what our fathers meant to us. If you are lucky you have a good dad who is still with you. If you aren’t quite as fortunate you don’t have him but you still carry some valuable life lessons from him with you.
My old man has been gone for fifteen years but as time passes his wisdom becomes more apparent. But of all the strengths and weaknesses of this man one story keeps coming to mind. He was a senior civil servant in the federal govenrment for most of his career. When he retired he had several months of sick time banked. He was one of those people who didn’t get sick very much. Many advised him to use up all that time and not bother going to work for the last three months of his career. He could easily have done so and there would have been no repercussions. But the thought never entered his mind. James Currier would have considered it to be a dishonourable thing to do. He believed that sick leave was just that, sick leave. It didn’t mean, I don’t feel like going to work today so I won’t. It didn’t mean, I know I have these days and they are my entitlement so I’ll take them. It meant they were days set aside for genuine illness and since he wasn’t ill he saw no reason to defraud the Canadian taxpayer of his time and talents. So, he showed up every day for work those last three months.
That lesson in honesty and integrity has remained in my mind all these years. When people talk about what they learned from their fathers there are always lots of examples but in the simplest terms possible he showed my siblings and me an enormously valuable practice. Show up. It sounds simple enough but plenty of people don’t. He did. And for that I revere him and honour him on this day and endeavour to preserve his memory by showing up every day to do what my employer pays me to do. To do anything else would be to tarnish the name he gave me and his legacy.