April 14, 2011
How did your dad help to shape your life or life philosophies?
I am honored to participate in your Rock interview series, and mostly to honor my dad who so gracefully mentored me through my early years as his dedication, humility, and steadfastness helped me and my brothers travel more confidently into adulthood. The simple message that exuded from him was to be concerned about others, lend a hand and learn from your mistakes. His faith was his rock! Yes he was involved in the catholic church in our little town– he ushered at the same mass for years and called bingo weekly while helping with small jobs on the parish grounds. The pastor knew that he could count on my dad when there was a little project (or big one) that needed attention; however, the biggest lesson was how he lived his faith once he got into the car after Mass. My dad did not complete high school as he finished 10th grade and went into the military to serve our country in World War II (he and four of his brothers served at the same time – he had three sisters, too). My grandparents, on my dad’s side, raised a family of eight by selling popcorn and peanuts and repairing shoes. Everyone respected my dad as he treated people kindly and fairly.
His sense of humor was clear and always brought a smile to people’s face. That was what he said in almost every card he and my mom gave to us as we were growing up – keep a smile on your face. He continues to inspire me in my work and at home. I am named after my dad – I’m a junior. I was born when my dad was 43 and my daughter was born when I was 43. How fun! I wear a tie every day to work at Davis College where I serve as the Director of Career Services. It may be out of fashion; but I wear a tie clip that belonged to my dad. I know that if I don’t hold the door for someone or extend a helping hand, or give a sincere compliment my dad’s spirit will admonish me and call me to that higher standard. He was the perfect gentleman and it was clear that he was kind and caring.
I know that when I forget the values that were instilled in me that I stray from living the way my dad (and mom) raised me to live. It was their deep and simple faith that encouraged me to live a life a service and to develop mutually valuable relationships so that we can make our community a better place for all of us to live. In everything I do the question is: How can I help you? He is my rock!
Can you tell us about a specific lesson you learned from him, or a piece of advice he gave to you?
My dad was a man of few words. However, he knew how to make people laugh and bring appropriate humor to even the most serious situation. He was a story teller whether it was a humorous story or a story from his growing up years. He was the king of the one-liners as well as those heart warming stories from World War II in the fox holes, or sports when he beat the ping pong champion in small town where he grew up who was always bragging how good he was – dad seized the opportunity to teach humility. Dad taught me to keep a smile on my face and the faces of others. To this day, I am a joke teller and a one-liner guy myself. When I give presentations or am conversing with friends or colleagues, I use stories – lots of them. That was a trait that I got from my dad.
Have you ever drifted away from his grounding advice? What price did you pay?
There was a spell in my life where I lost or forgot my sense of humor. I became depressed and more critical, pessimistic, and judgmental – I was usually upbeat and very positive. Those were unhappy times and I wasn’t the happiest person to be around. The depression was at times overwhelming. That really got my attention and thank God I had people around me who supported me and really cared. Once I realized that I had ventured off my path, my smile and energy came back. Sure, I get depressed now and again, however, my dad’s inspiration reminds me to get back to who I am.
From Tim Sander's to Nick's dad, Dominick, we want to thank you for helping make Nick who he is today. You have helped make the world a better place.
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.