Along with celebrating with my children and grandchildren on this Father’s Day, I find myself reminiscing about my father and the one gift he gave me that profoundly shaped my life and made me the man I am today.
A wise soul wrapped in a youthful spirit
When I was born, my father was almost 50 years old. Yet, despite being an older father, he had a youthful spirit that was infectious. My friends adored him, and I felt so proud to call him dad.
My father was interested in almost every aspect of living, from studying the stars light years away, to the fish and fauna fathoms below the sea. He was interested in such diverse fields as agriculture, eco-tourism (even before there really was such a concept), nutrition, profit-sharing, religion, world peace and more.
Visionary ideas start here
My father’s insatiable curiosity about the world is what I admire most about him. He always encouraged me to be the best me that I could be. Whether my pursuits were academic, athletic, professional or personal, my father was at the ready with one life lesson: Stay curious, find what you are good at and, most importantly, keep up with it.Looking back, I realize what my father was really encouraging throughout the years was an interest in the world around me. I can’t think of a greater gift that a father could give his son. It’s priceless.
Connecting the discovery dots
My father also had a deep understanding that being curious is the starting point for all visionary ideas, including his own. This is especially true in the area of phytonutrient research. He believed that individual discoveries are important but stepping back and looking at the big picture, seeing how things fit together to support whole body health, is just as important.
At the age of 80, he wrote a memo about product evolution over the previous three decades. Each time I read it, it reminds me of his big picture approach to optimal health:
“When Nutrilite Food Supplement was first being developed, there was no vitamin industry as such, and no vitamin products. Our product became a ‘vitamin product’ through being swept along by our sales agents and the public news media.
When we started, we were not selling a ‘vitamin product’ but rather a ‘food supplement,’ and except for the ‘vitamin’ label under which it is now sold, it is still a ‘food supplement.’ We should begin once more to talk and think in our own idiom and get back into our own business of food supplements…
We are properly committed to extracts and concentrates of plant and fruit materials. The many new items of discovery in the science of nutrition act as the dots in electrotype which reproduce a picture in printing. The picture is the whole relationship of life to its environment. Instead of these details, we need only to look at the whole concept…”
Keep asking questions | Keep connecting
I suppose, at one time or another, every father feels he could do more to help his kids be curious about their world. I recently saw a video in which one father interviewed his daughter after her first day of school starting in kindergarten and continuing till she was a senior in high school. He asked her an assortment of questions such as “What was your favorite part of the day?,” “What did you learn today?,” and “What are you most looking forward to this school year?” The result was a priceless keepsake capturing the daughter’s transformation from first grade to 12thgrade as well as a sweet slice of their relationship.
Bottom line: Keep asking your kids questions like these throughout the year to help them discover their passion, as well as set a course to achieve it.
The future is in good hands
Today, I celebrate being a proud father of four grown children and grandfather of four grandkids. I feel blessed that all my children are happy and healthy. I marvel at the curious minds of the grandkids (two now in college) and enjoy watching them grow closer to reaching their full potential. Next month, we’ll be adding one more to the mix as my daughter Jenna and her husband Jake are expecting their first-born.
As I watch from the sidelines, I feel such hope and optimism for the world. I, for one, am excited to watch the next generation develop into the leaders of tomorrow fully capable of tackling health, environmental and other issues that affect our world.
Frankly, I am looking forward to some out-of-the-box, creative thinking from these curious young minds. For inspiration, they need only look to my father’s visionary ideas born out of his curiosity about the world.
Here’s to fathers all around the world teaching their kids to stay curious.
Wishing you a day full of love,
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