December 2012 - Vol.  64.

From Father to Son: Things My Dad Taught Me About Life
 by Ted Kennedy III

4. Waiting to Honor

I’m not sure how old I was at the time, but the scene is still vivid in my mind. Dad was sitting in the car, with Mom in the front passenger seat. We were all headed somewhere, and Mom and Dad were waiting for us. Several of us kids piled out of the house and jumped in the back seat. 

Before backing out of the driveway, Dad turned around and pointed his finger at us and said in that certain “don’t mess with Dad” tone of voice: “I don’t want your mother to ever wait for you again. If she is taking you someplace, I want you to always be the ones waiting for her.”

He wasn’t particularly angry, but that tone of voice still echoes in my ears… and I don’t think Mom ever did wait for me again – at least when things were under my control.

The lesson I learned that day was that waiting is one of the best ways to honor someone. In life, someone is always waiting for someone else. Dad taught me to honor others by being the one that waits. Over the years I have tried to wait not only for my Mom, but for everyone. I tried to be early to meetings, early to school, early to everything. If someone had to wait, I wanted it to be me. 

Waiting can be a frustrating experience, but my Dad’s lesson turned that frustration completely around. When I wait for people now, I say to myself: “this is my chance to honor this person.” 

So Dad, I still try to be the one waiting for others (especially Mom). I bet when you said those words you had no idea what an impact they would have.

(c) 2011 Ted Kennedy III
Ted Kennedy is a member of the Servants of the Word, an ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He is steward and trainer for the Servants of the Word international formation house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Ted is a vice president at Service Brands International, a franchising company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

.Click on links below to read separate stories

Intro Things My Dad Taught Me About Life
Story 1 Trust Your Strengths and Know Your Limits
Story 2 One Dad and One Father
Story 3 The Debtor Who Wouldn't Go Away
Story 4 Waiting to Honor

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