My Father was the oldest of eight children in a family that didn't have a lot growing up. For him working hard, raising a family and maybe being lucky enough to someday buy a house defined a successful person. He never could understand how his oldest son, yours truly, could say that he wanted to only work at something "meaningful." My coming home from college with a beard and long hair only caused him to shake his head at this "new" generation. His Christmas gift for me that year was an electric razor!
Like most boys I foolishly measured myself by the wrong yardstick with my Father. I shouldn't have measured myself by becoming taller, stronger or accomplishing things he hadn't accomplished. As I have grown older I realize that the yardstick I should have measured myself by was his wisdom, his common sense and his sociability. That's the yardstick I will use the rest of my life.