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Lifestyle Choices: An Unconditional Committment To What Is Right and Just

Updated on April 6, 2012
Dale LeRoy Holland
Dale LeRoy Holland

My father keeps speaking to me; day and night, no matter what the date, his voice is always with me and his words I cannot escape. Dale Holland has been dead now for forty-three years and yet I can hear him as if he were standing right next to me. Isn’t that as it should be considering he was the most important mentor in my lifetime?

My dad was an incredibly flawed human being, but now that I have garnered a tiny bit of wisdom over the past four decades or so I feel fairly safe in saying that we are all incredibly flawed human beings. Dad had his faults to be sure but he also had some qualities that I inherited and that remain with me today, as much a part of my personality as my laughter or my sensitivity or my empathy. One of those qualities that he passed on to me, for which I will forever be grateful, is an unconditional commitment to what he knew to be right and just.

There were many things in life that my father just didn’t care about. I never heard him talk about the economy nor did I ever see him volunteer down at the church or coach a team or for that matter eat better to improve his health; but there were some that were just about as important to him as breathing. The short list would include loyalty to family and friends, a strong sense of justice, personal integrity, respect for others and the importance of keeping your word. To him a man was only as good as his commitment to those things and they were sacred to him and by extension to me.

It has become almost instinctual for many to tell “little white lies.” I mean they really don’t hurt anyone, right? A little fib here, a little fib there, what’s the difference? To my dad the difference was whether or not you were a person who could be trusted. Period! In the twenty years that I knew him I never heard him tell a lie, and believe me I was paying attention and would have caught him if he had.

His personal favorite (and I am being sarcastic when I say that) regarding commitment to what is right were those people who would say they would be there for you anytime you needed them but then would have some convenient excuse for why they couldn’t help you when you did call upon them. For Dale Holland an offer to help was a sacred vow. If he liked you and respected you then all you had to do was ask and he was there. No matter the time of day or night, no matter what the problem or request, there he was fulfilling what he considered to be his personal commitment.

Loyalty? I have never met another person who was as loyal as my father. If a friend or family member was insulted or harassed or whatever, then the person doing the insulting had two people to deal with and not just one.

Respect for others was the cornerstone of his personal foundation. He was quick with a smile and a hello, and no matter the color of your skin or the beliefs that you carried he treated you with respect. He felt and told me often that a man earns his respect by respecting others and treating them as equals, and most importantly by doing what is right.

I have grown so weary of people who do not speak the truth, of people who do not honor their commitments, of people who cannot be trusted. With each passing year I seem to sense more and more people with a “me first” attitude, and if their selfishness or lack of commitment or falsehoods affects others well then so be it. That may be the current trend but I do not have to subscribe to it, nor will I because I have Dale Holland looking over my back.

Yes, that incredibly flawed human being still speaks to me. I will still lie awake at night and hear his voice as he whispers advice to me when I am troubled, and his words still give me comfort, just as they did before he tucked me into bed when I was younger. It is comforting knowing he is still here, still a source of strength for me, still a guiding light which I can follow as I stumble along towards happiness.

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    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you billips; he was a good man...flawed but good....and I was lucky to be his son.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Another wonderful tribute to your father - his flaws, whatever they were, could never tarnish his attributes - if all men were honorable and respected other, what a wonderful world it would be - B.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, he was a great father and he continues to whisper his lessons into my ear to this day. Thank you for taking the time to read my hub and comment. I appreciate your following.

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      susanm23b 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed this. My father died when I was a teen and I regret that I never knew him as an adult. I applaud your respect for loyalty and keeping your word and committments. My father taught me those values also--they are sadly rare today.

      Your father sounds as though he was a great father :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles...I completely agree...I was surrounded with that type of thinking as I grew up....and that's not a bad thing at all. Thank you for reading and I always enjoy your comments and perspective.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Really enjoyed this hub. My father was very similar. I think their generation held integrity and honesty in very high regard....a lesson for younger generations to heed!Vote up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      hazelwood4....thank you sir! I will follow your passage as well and I look forward to it.

    • hazelwood4 profile image

      hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      Honesty, integrity, and to be a man at keeping his words. Your dad did have a great legacy! Thank you for sharing this powerful Hub about your father, and I do look forward to reading more.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cagsil...thank you sir...there is very little wiggle room in doing what is right...excuses can be made but they sound oh so hollow.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sabrani, as usual, thank you for reading and the comment...I didn't realize how lucky I was until many years later and I found out other fathers weren't quite as helpful.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

      An interesting hub billybuc. My father was an influence on my life but in my early years he wasn't around as much as he was when I was older. I wrote a hub on my father, just like you did here, so people could understand a little about me. To understand that my life might have been similar to their life and realize that I choose to do what is right for the sake that it is right. I don't break my word for no one and anyone asking me to do so is dishonest. I can appreciate what you've learned from your father and you sharing it with the world. Voted up! :)

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 5 years ago

      Awesome hub! Sounds like your father was a man to look up to. It's great that you had a role model in your life, not everyone's parents are there for them, or are filled with wisdom. Thanks for sharing!