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June 2014

Thinking about you Dad

-Karthik Gurumurthy

AppaKarthik_061514

Father’s Day is an appropriate time to reflect on our own fathers and on what it means to be a father. My father was basically a happy man, who put family first. He went to be with the Lord two years ago. I’ve learned many lessons from my dad that will stay with me forever and that I’ll try and pass on to my son.

 This was my last year posting  about my dad.

This was my posting in 2012.

 I have learned a lot from my dad and these are the lessons I learned which I would like to share this year:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Unexpected problems will always happen in life and the vast majority of them aren’t worth worrying about as they all seem to work themselves out. Laugh every day. This leaves a lasting impression on your children.

Always carve out time for your family and children. The things I remember most about my dad are simple times like playing cricket with Aravind and myself in the evening and taking us out during our summer break. Men put so much energy into wearing the mantle of Provider, and they devote so many hours each day working hard to climb the ladder, that they forget the very people they’re working for: their children. Most kids would rather live in a shack with a father who is present in their lives than in a mansion with a father who is always working late or constantly out of town on business. Strive to find the balance.

Take vacation time and spend most of it with your children. I’ve written before of how misguided it is when some men brag about not using their vacation time and act like the business world would crumble if they weren’t consistently active in it. Growing up in Chennai, summer vacations were magical when I was a kid. To this day they hold a special place in my memory. Although I didn’t really understand it all, I enjoyed seeing my dad unwind and cast aside the pressures that life heaps on us. Every summer he planned a fun trip to different cities all over India which we looked forward to it big time. We did this until we were in high school. We played cards/chess/cricket and I learned a lot about having the balance. I didn't think much of it when we did this and but now I do understand the planning that went to make that happen.

With the start of summer at your threshold, it’s right to be reminded about how significant it is to be present with your children and to live in the moment with them. You can’t ignore your business responsibilities and challenges, but you shouldn’t elevate them to the pinnacle of importance and prominence in your world. Save that place for enjoying life with your family, your friends and your children. Take a vacation and laugh a lot. That’s the kind of legacy that lasts. That’s what is best to be remembered for.

You gave me unconditional love. What a gift to have a father like you who thought the world of me. Growing up you always told me I could do & be whatever I wanted. You were right. You always gave 110% passion and effort in everything you did.You gave me self confidence. You always taught me to succeed in anything, you have to be determined and dedicated without an iota of doubt.

You always taught me the value of honesty by being direct and not mince words. Your favorite quote was always, "Truth need not be remembered."

How I appreciate all those intangibles you instilled in me. It shows in my relationships with others. It shows in my outlook on the world. It shows in my work ethic. It shows in my parenthood.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. When I look at my son I think of you and want to instill that self confidence and strong foundation you gave me. You raised me to be a strong man & I'm striving to do the same for my child. I appreciate your life even more. This is what I wanted my kid(s) to learn...(written back in 2005)....