I was chatting with a girl online tonight and she was talking about her father: she called him "daddy." I mentioned to her that I thought it was sweet that she called him "daddy" and she said, "You know, I really appreciate the relationship I have with him. I think there has to be a real trust there for a child to call their father daddy." This is so true. I have been pondering all day what to write about my daddy and then it came to me. Of all the things I have been taught by him, what do I value most? Well, I was called into work today because we are afraid that someone... uh, internal, might be stealing jewelry from the store and we had to take inventory of every single piece in the place. Why was I called in? Because of my integrity.
Where did I learn integrity? I learned it from my dad.
When I was about 10 years old my family took a trip to Disneyland. It was my first time to the Magic Kingdom and the night before I couldn't sleep because I was filled with anticipation of what adventures were awaiting me. We arose plenty early to dad's ever familiar and sometimes trite, "rise and shine kiddie winkies, daylight's-a burnin'!" We were literally the first ones to the park. I knew I was in for some fun that day, but little did I know, I was going to be taught a lesson that would exist as the framework to my character. The ticket kiosks had yet to open, but my father was first in line. As we stood there we both examined the ticket prices and I could tell he was adding up the total cost of admission for our family. The ticket prices were divided into two or three pricing tiers. My dad promptly asked, "Jacob, how old are you?" Only months earlier had I reached the decade mark.
I proudly replied, "Ten!"
He verbally calculated, "So that's 3 adults and two children." I noticed the price of adults was ten dollars more than the price of children. Ten dollars to a ten-year-old might as well be $100. So my little brain strategized.
"Dad, I could tell them I'm nine so we can save some money." My dad's reply is forever imprinted on my brain.
"Son, we must always be truthful. I'm not going to sell my integrity for ten dollars."