My dad loved his job when I was growing up. I would always ask, “Dad, why do you love your job so much?” His answers always entailed the fact that being a postal carrier—what we called a mailman back then—fit his values and what was most important to him.
He loved being reliable to others; he took pride in walking three miles a day to deliver mail in the sun, rain, snow, or sleet. (We’re talking about Chicago, after all!) He was an outdoor guy, and these walks kept him fit. He also loved getting to his route early so he could be home by 3 p.m. to spend time with our family.
Meeting people and making friends during deliveries were highlights in his day. He had his favorite stops—cannoli at the Italian market and lunch at the Jewish deli. My dad was always curious about people and new life experiences, which was nurtured at a young age when he served in the Navy.
He would have been ninety-seven years old this year, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how connected he was to his values. Those early childhood questions about why my dad loved his job and my adult examination of his well-lived life have informed my quest to understand what it means to live a fulfilling, purposeful, and intentional life.
When I look at my dad’s life, I see these values in his job, his service, and his roles as a friend and father: reliability, charisma, curiosity, a strong work ethic, and someone who cherished connecting with others.
What are your values? How are you creating harmony between life and living your values? In the spirit of Father’s Day and the people in your life who step up like a father might, enjoy this video excerpt and let my dad’s story inspire you to ponder what you value in life.