After Dad passed away my mom claimed that he was a workaholic. It's true he worked hard and was frequently working at one thing or another, but I disagree with my mom. I don't think he worked just because he loved it. I believe he worked to provide an income for his family, because he knew the work needed done, and because it cost less to do it himself than to hire someone to do it. I think my father was often tired.
In many respects Dad was a stern man. There were certain expectations of behavior in our home and not too much leniency. I think he expected of his children the same dedication to work, high morals, and self-motivation that he had.
I have been thinking recently of the lessons I learned growing up in my parents' home, especially the lessons I learned from my father. So many of them were not spoken with words but with his actions and behavior.
- Do your best. The next time, do better than the previous time.
- Improve yourself and your circumstance. I don't remember either of my parents using words to teach us to be our best or to aim for self-improvement but somehow that message impressed itself on me. We were a middle- or lower-middle-class family but the expectation was that we would learn proper manners, be honest at all times, become educated, and improve our circumstances.
- Work hard. Work until the job is done, even if you can only work on it a little at a time. Be persisent, consistent, and finish the job. And make sure it's done as well as you can do it.