Heroes and Blessings

Heroes and Blessings

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

by Ralph PorterA hero is defined as one who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements or notable qualities. That definition has stood the test of time, despite society’s efforts to redefine the word. In my family, heroes are still men and women who stand up for what is right and do the right thing despite the consequences or struggles involved. One such hero has been in my life since birth. {{more}}It is such a blessing to have a hero dad. Bernard Porter, Sr. has always been a hero to me. He’s always been there for my siblings and me. He has a knack of saying the right words of encouragement and inspiration in times of need. When I’ve had the feeling that there is no way out, no direction to go in times of struggles, my dad has always had the ability to comfort and encourage me with his wisdom. He has always known the right time to give a son a hug or even the time when you need that lecture; the one that gets your mind and heart in the right place to do what’s right or hit that “gear” that you didn’t think you had left in you. He was never the dad to do it for you, but to show you how to do it so you can teach and show others along the way. His philosophy reminds me of the old Chinese Proverb: —“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.”My dad is known in the family for his insightful sayings and stories. He’s a constant source of wisdom and entertainment for everyone, especially his grandchildren. When he gets going, everyone stops to listen. His grandchildren even request that he retell their favorite stories and he never refuses.Dad has many old school sayings that have inspired me just when I needed them. He will say things like, “You just hold up that tongue and I’ll pull the wagon”. That type of encourage has sustained me in times of need and struggles. He has helped me figure out faith, marriage, parenting, and career issues, sometimes without even realizing what he was doing. One of my biggest blessings is the assurance that I always have his parental support, whether I succeed or fail. A few more “Dadisms” that are well suited for Father’s Day and that have served me well are: “Do what’s right. Work hard. If you do it right the first time, good things will happen to you and for you. There is nothing wrong with some hard work, some sweat and sometimes some tears to get a young mind in the right place.” I may or may not have wanted to hear these words of wisdom in a given situation, but they have always rung true.I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a rural, farm and ranch community. When I was growing up, I didn’t feel so fortunate, but I was. Learning to work with animals and livestock, even dogs; taught me to respect them and they in turn will respect me. In some cases, fear is good, not in a harmful way but in a respectful way. It’s all about respect and responsibility.I learned to watch their eyes and movements and how they reacted and interacted with me. My dad taught me that this same philosophy may be applied in life when interacting with people. Whether it is with coworkers, church, school or community members, we must have mutual respect to work together. I’m blessed to have a father that has been married to my mother for over sixty seven years. He has provided the footprint to be a good husband, Christian, provider for my family and father to my two children. I am blessed that at age 87, he is still showing my wife, my children and me the way. Dad is still teaching “never cease to learn something new every day”. He has taught me that you’re never too old to learn. He has also taught me what I believe is the most important trait of all; to be a good listener. Dad teaches that we should always listen to other people’s views. You don’t have to agree with them, but at least listen to see what their view point is and to see where they are coming from. Also read their body language and read how they react to you. Listen with a third ear and watch with a third eye and learn to read between the unwritten lines of life. These are priceless lessons that I fully appreciate every day.Father’s Day is a special day to honor our fathers, living or deceased. I am grateful to have had my dad be such a strong influence in my life. On the other hand, I recognize that not all children have been as fortunate. If your father has not been a major presence in your life, I say to you: Think about the male role models in your family, church, workplace, schools or community that have been there for you when you needed them. Father’s Day is their day as well. Be thankful for your heroes and blessings. Seek them out and thank them, because it takes more than DNA to be a real father. I would like to end with a line my father uses in every prayer. “Father, as we go through life, let us help each other and also learn to help someone else along the way”. Thank you for everything, Dad. I’ll always honor you by living by this prayer.