I normally wouldn’t share a personal email from an MMM reader, but yesterday I got a really inspiring one about what it means to lead a good life as a parent, and I asked the writer’s permission to publish it and he agreed.
I think it’s a great one to share because it shows the impact a Dad can have on his kids by leading an honest life, and how the values he lives by, rather than the amount of material things he buys in the process of supporting a family, are what counts. All of us who are dads need regular inspiration to keep our priorities straight in our most important job, and this guy provides a mountain of it.
Comments: Hey Mr. Money Mustache,
Back in August, my dad passed away at the too-young age of 62. However, in the decades before he died, he made damn sure that he was free to pursue whatever career he wanted and leave just as quickly if need be. By living simply, buying things with cash, and laughing in the face of the lure of material goods, he raised seven kids while my mom was able to stay home and take care of us.
He sold cars honestly, and when they told him he couldn’t do it that way anymore, he gave them a wry smile and with his signature sarcastic goodbye salute went to run a soup kitchen. When the soup kitchen board told him he had to start collecting the personal info of all his clients, he said “I’m not going to take the last thing some of these people have left.” He then started as a substitute teacher to evaluate a teaching career, and when it turned out the school district requires teachers to pass a certain number of students, even if they were failing, he reckoned he couldn’t do that either. However, he saw he could make a difference in the lives of some kids by sticking around as a sub. When the cancer finally won, hundreds of students called, emailed, brought food, and came to the funeral to let us know how much their lives had been changed by one simple old man.
He taught his own kids how to raise our own funds through smarts and hard work. So we bought our own vehicles (I opted for the bike and made bank doing that) and paid for our own educations. He taught us how to fish and grow food so we would never starve. He taught us how to live so that we would never have to sacrifice our integrity or do wrong to others to make ends meet. He taught us how to take what we have and make a difference in this crazy world.
I just want you to know that I found your blog about a month after my dad passed. Every new article you write is like being able to sit down with him again and listen to him cut through the world’s bullshit with an easy knife of humor once again. Thanks for giving me that, and thanks for the lives you’re most certainly influencing for the better.
Thanks very much to the guy who sent me this and allowed me to share it. I’m obviously not deserving of the favorable comparison in the last paragraph, but I can use it as inspiration towards a longer goal – that of earning even half this level of respect from my own son by the time he’s an adult and I’m an Old Man.