April 28, 2011
How did they help to shape your life or life philosophies?
My Grandaddy Greene and my Dad shaped my life both sharing when I would listen and modeling when I was “sideways” to use Tim’s description. Both of these men gave generously to others from their hearts and their wallets, constantly in search of ways to assist others. Gratitude motivated both of them, and they moved about their lives in ways that were humble and grounded in integrity. When either of them told you something they would do for you, all doubt was removed. It would get done. And they expected the same from me as their son and grandson.
Tell us about a specific lesson you learned from them, or a piece of advice they gave to you?
Grandaddy Greene was a crop farmer, dairy farmer, and ran a country store—at heart, an entrepreneur. Whether planting corn, herding cows, or chewing the fat with the men who hung out around the pot belly stove in his store, my Grandaddy had a respect for all of life that shaped my core values today. His respect for the earth meant that we sought to understand her need to receive as well as give us food. That meant we protected her from erosion, saw to it that her nutrient levels were sustained, and insured she lay fallow when needed. “The land must rest like us,” he said.
We respected the cows as well, knowing that they gave us more milk when fed appropriately, richer milk when fed well, and always cared for in such a way that prevented illness. And when the heifer bellowed all night because she was separated from her new-born calf, we understood that grief comes to us all.
We respected the men who hung out in the country store even when they didn’t spend a dime. “His crops failed this year,” my Grandaddy explained when I asked why someone took a stick of bologna and hoop of cheese home without paying. “He has children to feed. You will too one day,” he said. “Someone helped me. Now it’s my turn to return the favor.”
He was, at heart, an entrepreneur who respected all of life.
Lonnie Faucette (my dad): His constant refrain to me was, “Son, get all the education you can because no one can ever take it away from you.” This from a man who wasn’t a stellar student in school, repeating the third grade, and just completing his high school diploma. However, as a young man in his early 20s with a new baby (me), he took a job working with computers for a national department store, learning on the job everyday and diligently paying his dues to move up the corporate ladder. Eventually he became a Data Processing Manager and later an IT Director. He was passed over by other corporations for high-profile positions because he lacked a college degree. Yet, he learned informally everything required to excel in his work. Sure, I heeded his advice, eventually completing a doctorate degree. However, my greatest learning was that education comes to those who want to learn in any given situation, formally or informally.
Have you ever drifted away from their grounding advice? What price did you pay?
Haven’t we all gone sideways?
When I lost respect for others, I realized one day that I first lost respect for myself. I became confused and thought that I was to be served, not serve. The bitterness and cynicism I experienced at trying to do life my way choked me. Fortunately I caught my breath and began living again. The price for turning blue as I held my breath was my investment—sweat equity—in guaranteeing that I would remain focused on respecting all of life and learning everyday.
Find out more about Dr. Joey Faucette, Speaker, Author & Coach - Receive a free positive story weekdays & discover how to Work Positive at www.ListentoLife.org
This interview is part of a series of interviews focusing on some of the great Rocks that have influenced our lives. Just as Tim's new Book, Today We Are Rich, shares what he learned from his rock, Billye, we want to pass on the knowledge of some other great rocks out there.
Rock on! Be a Rock, or applaud a Rock you know.