I wrote this article last year and felt compelled to share what an inspiration my dad has been to me.
I’m posting it again here in honor of Father’s Day!
“Always take your work seriously. Never take yourself seriously. Seriously.”
“Always do more than your fair share and it’s probably just about enough.”
A sentiment passed on from his father, Norman Linton, the town doctor, farmer and husband to Jane Linton for 70 years this year!
“The way you do something, is the way you do everything” and he has shown clear examples of integrity at home, in business and in his community.
He may not be literally lifting buildings, but he built his home and business by leading with love.
He started his own firm and developed a successful career based on a reputation for being a man of his word with a strong work-ethic. He viewed ‘making a living’ as ‘making a life’ for our family, habitually using the word “we” when discussing business success. He’d say “We did it girls!” when a great deal came through.
While many of my friends fathers were using their prosperity as an excuse to take time away from their families, my father would celebrate each victory with us by rewarding our group efforts and validating that we’re a team.
As a part of a generation concerned with prenuptial agreements, false public personas and relationships based on status, it’s critical to advocate trust so that we can fully share our lives and build healthy families.
He knows how to deal with the bad guys.
The master combatant uses his X-ray vision to keep things in perspective.
Of course, there are always vultures who mistake kindness for ignorance and seek to take advantage of the good-hearted. In those cases, my father has never sought revenge. “It all belongs to God” he responds with compassion. He sees the disparate life of a con-artist and it confirms that they’re already living a tragedy. He knows that their deeds stem from a lack of love and chooses to pray for them.
He makes small efforts to help the community.
For example, while on a family vacation, a homeless couple asked us for change. Unsure of their intentions, my dad invited them to breakfast with us instead of offering money. I’m skeptical that they were amused by his jokes and stories, but the captive audience provided an opportunity to show his daughters that you can always be charitable without running the risk of enabling a person.
He makes large efforts to help the community.
Inspired to teach and share his business knowledge, he worked with World Vision on a micro-credit project to help women in poverty. He and his friends pooled a large sum of money and donated it to help small groups in Tijuana create their own businesses.
These women are now free from poverty, they enjoy a thriving community, they are doing what they love and providing for their children.
He values and respects the women in his life.
I once asked him “Do you ever wish you had sons?”
He responded without hesitation, “Having daughters has given me such insight into the heart of God that I would never have come to realize without strong women in my life.”
“But what about passing on the Linton name? You’re not concerned about that?”
“Well, maybe if I was concerned with temporal things and my own legacy, but I’m not.”
He has loved my mother for over 36 years, which is probably pretty easy. I mean, without her, he would walk around in mismatched clothes, smelling like Febreze and popcorn.
I said he was like Superman, not perfect.
He promotes and creates safety:
I have always felt grateful that I could tell him anything without judgement. In fact, I think everyone feels that way about him. When I was growing up, our home was the place where all of my friends felt safe to express their thoughts. He treated them as if they were children of his own. He even let friends of mine live with us during troubling times. Our home was open, happy and full of music.
He’s quick to overcome defeat:
A few years ago, he experienced a shocking surf accident off the coast in Del Mar, California. A bull shark tore the bulk of his calf from his leg and he was told he may never walk again. With a DVR full of shark stories and a gnarly lookin’ leg, he kept a positive attitude, saying “Hey, I’ll just have to hop everywhere!”
Miraculously, the calf began to grow back and he was surfing again within five weeks!
I won’t dispute if you just want to call him insane, but I find it inspiring. In his sixties, he still surfs because “What are the chances of it happening again?” How’s that for superspeed healing? No one is going to keep this man from having a good time!