The lessons that I have learned from my dad throughout my lifetime are endless and invaluable and have shaped me at the core of who I am.  At an early age, I knew I had a very special father who stood out among men.  I remember thinking the entire city knew who he was because of how I watched people love and perceive him, and many times introduced myself as Steve’s daughter (often surprised if they didn’t know who he was).

My dad is the type of guy who will help anyone, big or small, without hesitation as if it wasn’t a big deal at all.  There is never any guilt or strings attached—he is always there for anyone in a bind. Giving selflessly of his time, his talent, his wallet, and his heart are constants for him. He would give the shirt off his back even if it’s the last one he has. He instilled the importance of a strong work ethic and believing we can do anything we work hard for.

My dad is a natural peacemaker and is always levelheaded and calm, which attracts so many different types of people to him.  He has a knack for conflict resolution and brings peace where there was once strife. In relationships and interactions, he builds bridges instead of putting up walls. He taught me to look for the good in everyone and to remember that there are always two sides to every story. He consistently models to listen first and talk second, and to stand up for the underdog but more importantly for what I believe in.  He embodies both strength and gentleness.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned from my dad is to always be humble and to build others up instead of ourselves. He taught me to show my character through the way I live and serve instead of trying to build a name for myself. He stressed the importance of not worrying about assumptions the world makes about us because we don’t live for approval of others. But he also taught me that showing love, humility and kindness often triumphs in the end.

My father’s impact on my life is enormous, and his influence is still teaching and guiding me today. The lessons that he engrained in me are lessons that I hope to pass down throughout generations to come in my family.

This month we are honoring men and their contribution to the betterment of our community. We are featuring men who lift up others, put themselves second, work hard and inspire others to do the same.  Their stories have inspired me and I hope you you feel inspired, too.