My dad and I work at the same place; and by that I mean I work for him, so we're around each other 40 hours a week (unless we work overtime...which we do...because we're men.) An outsider looking in might not notice anything peculiar in the way that my we interact, but underneath the obvious appearance there is a lot going on. For instance, when my dad is talking on the phone to a customer, I can tell by his word choice, inflection, tone, and facial gestures what kind of person he's talking to. Without even speaking words to each other, I can tell when he needs me to get him a calculator or a pen. I don't recall sitting down and studying my dad's habits in such detail that I can understand them as I do, I just spend an inordinate amount of time with him. There have been times when people read notes that we make and cannot tell if I wrote them or if he did. We can both clearly tell the differences, but to outsiders it looks the same. I understand that genetics plays a heavy role in common characteristics in offspring, but having a hero goes so much deeper than that.
Some of the things that I have in common with my dad are by choice. From my earliest memories growing up, my dad absolutely despised ranch dressing. He won't eat it on anything. I hate ranch dressing; I genuinely cannot stand the way it tastes or smells for some reason, but the first time I refused it was not because of my opinions. It was because I wanted to be like my dad. The same goes for Dr. Pepper, milk, lengthy board games, people who talk too much, and so on. It is fascinating to me that some of my core likes and dislikes are direct copies of my dad's preferences. They're deeply seeded in my character, but they came from outside of me. My adoration and respect of my dad shaped who I am. I know that Dr. Pepper and board games are not integral aspects of my character, but they are part of who I am; and the areas that my dad has influenced in my life go much deeper that surface preferences. My dad has the softest heart of anyone I've ever met. He feels things incredibly deeply, and cares in ways that I cannot understand all the time. Over the years I've come to realize that I feel things like he does. We don't even have to discuss it, but our reactions to situations are very similar. I haven't always acted on this tendency as well as he does, but I am growing as we all are.
The fact that we are able to copy another person is amazing to me. It is also horrifying in a way. I think of all of the people in this world who people are copying and it hurts my heart. There are some people out there who do not need to be imitated. I, as always, am not going to judge anyone. I understand that we all have setbacks and areas that we struggle in, but I hurt for the youth who are copying individuals who live in ways that are unhealthy. I love my dad and he understands me like no one else. How does the dynamic change when we don't know our heroes? When we can't question them and work with them and come to know them inside and out. I have nothing against heroes that we will never meet. Jon Foreman is and amazing person. I love his outlook on music and writing and life, and I draw inspiration from him, yet he will never mean as much to me as my dad does. Jon is an ethereal hero. My dad is a tangible one. I wish so deeply that everyone could have tangible heroes as amazing as my dad is. I understand that this is not possible, and I cherish my dad close to my heart.
Find heroes who are real. Be a hero to someone who needs one. End your blogs with very feel good sayings. And have a wonderful day everyone.
(Thanks for reading today. Follow me on Twitter @MattHillEC if you want to chat.)