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The Second Greatest Man That Ever Lived

© 2005 G.M. Lousignont, Ph.D.

            A man of quiet strength, firm convictions and unwavering love. I didn’t know him near as long as I would have liked.

            He was always there for me. He gave me guidance. He taught me kindness. He served as a role model that molded me into the man I am today.

            His rules were simple: Treat everyone like you would want to be treated, and let one word rule your life; RESPECT.

            He taught me that the Ten Commandments were simply ten rules about respect. Respect for God, respect for your parents, respect for life, respect for the truth, respect for ourselves as God’s children, and respect for other’s property and relationships.

            He told me, “Every day, go out of your way to do one good deed for a stranger, and happiness will always be your constant companion.” He explained that a good deed could be something as simple as holding a door open for another person.

            If you lie, cheat, steal, you deny yourself the peace of mind and moral compass that comes from being a man of integrity and ethics.

            Like all great role models he led by example. He did not subscribe to the school of, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

            As I grew into an adult, the abundance of this man’s wisdom, his knowledge of life, people, and even business became even more apparent. Even though he only had a High School Diploma, I would come to learn that this was the smartest man I would ever know.

            How could I ever repay the lifetime of education this man had given me ? What store would possibly have a gift that would be valuable enough to show my appreciation?

            As I sat on the edge of his hospital bed, I looked into his very wise, very tired eyes. I choked back tears as my lips spoke the words, “Do you have any idea how much I love you, how much I respect you, how much you have taught me, how much I owe you? Just saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough.”

            Mustering every ounce of strength he could, he placed his frail hand on mine and gave it a squeeze. With a slight smile he looked at me, his words penetrated my heart and gripped my soul. “Raise my grandchildren the way I raised you!”

            This was the gift my father wanted, and this is the gift I have continued to give as I raise my children with the values my father taught to me.

            I thank God above, that I was privileged to have known the Second Greatest Man to have ever walked upon this earth. I miss you Dad !