My Father, a Man of Character

September 15, 2008
Many people think of a hero as someone with supernatural powers such as Superman, or a famous athlete such as Michael Jordan. However, I think of someone much closer to me as a hero. The most impressive person, and who I think most resembles a hero in my life, would be my father. He is an accomplished individual with a great deal of achievements under his belt and deserves acknowledgement for what he has completed. With his strong will power and determination for success, my father has shown me what an inspiring person he is with his talent, brilliance, vigor, and role model stature.

My father has become the inspiring person he is now because of the life he led growing up. He was raised in the Anderson-Pendleton area in Indiana, and spent his school days in the Pendleton school system. While at Pendleton Heights High School, my father picked up piano, and, two years later, he began teaching it. After finishing his high school years, he set off to Ball State University and majored in Mathematics and Computer Science. He began working for RCA after receiving his degree. During our interview, my dad stated, “My most meaningful achievement has been creating a family.” He came closer to reaching that aspiration while working at RCA television services, for my father met my mother there and they began to see each other. My parents dated for over a year, and were married in June of 1991. Two years later, they had me in June of 1993. Since then, my family moved to Westfield in 1994, my dad began working at First Data Bank, and my younger sister had been added to the family. My father has continued to work at FDB, and has climbed the ranks and now works as Director of Knowledge Based Systems while helping raise my sister and me at home.

The most prominent trait about my father that impresses me is his musical talent. In the sixth grade, he was in the band playing French horn, but later moved on to playing piano. He picked up the instrument very quickly, teaching it two years after learning how to play. In our home, my father has constructed a miniature version of a recording studio in our basement and uses it as a place to write music and as an office. He continues to play piano today on occasion; however, he is often busy doing other tasks. Despite that, he is still able to sight read difficult music and play with great expression and touch. His deep interest in music has encouraged me to play piano as well.

Although there may be no similarities between my father and Odysseus in the sense of music, there are parallels amongst my father’s job and Odysseus’s travels. Over the years, my father’s job has changed, as well as his bosses. Before his current job, my father had worked beneath a boss he was all but pleased with; and those who worked with my father agreed. They felt trapped with the boss who was making their job harder than it needed to be and wanted to get away from him. This situation reminded me of Odysseus’s struggle with the Cyclops, Polyphemus, who had trapped Odysseus and his men, did not let them go, and made things difficult for them. After persisting to try to make things work with his boss for over a year, my father finally found another job in a separate department, and now continues to enjoy that occupation today.

To reach the job my father has now, he has had to go through other professions and through many years of education. This is also another aspect of my father that impresses me. As most people are expected to finish high school, my father went above and beyond and went to college. Not only did he spend four years on his Bachelor’s degree at Ball State University, where he graduated summa cum laude, but he spent another two years to receive his Master’s degree where he received straight A’s. I feel this is something special and I know he has been rewarded with a successful career, adequate housing, and various other items for his hard work in school. He has not only gained his possessions from his zest to be successful but a deep respect from me for his drive to succeed in school.

Just as he had worked hard in school, my father has shown his vigor to achieve throughout his life. As Odysseus had worked hard while returning home, my dad has worked hard towards “leaving things better than the way I found them,” and performing well in the many things he does daily. When my father is preparing a project for work, he makes sure it is premium quality before presenting it to his audience. He can also be found around the house in his free time looking for things to improve to make the house more appealing or more efficient. Whenever my father is given a task, difficult or easy, there is a good chance the outcome will be first-rate.

For those who still think of a celebrity or illustrious individual you do not know personally and probably never will as a hero, I suggest you take a look around. There may be a hero closer to you than you think. During our discussion, my father stated that he believed a hero was someone who, “…does something not everyone can do very, very well and makes a difference that is lasting. To me, a hero is someone who overcomes their own doubts and fears and does what it right even though it may sacrifice their own well being.” Although I feel my father has not sacrificed his well-being to raise me (for it is not necessary) but I feel he has made a lasting impact on me that I will commemorate for the rest of my life in a way no celebrity could. He has worked so hard in everything he does that he deserves every ounce of my respect. I may not say it enough, but I appreciate all that he has done for me including when he introduced me to music and all of its beauty, or when he supported me at my sporting events he attended. To make an enduring impact on someone truly makes a person a hero, and my father has done just that.

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