[Veteran’s Day 2009] Your Song

Yesterday marked Veteran’s Day across the United States: it also marked the 6th anniversary of my father’s passing in 2003. A proud veteran of World War II, he had lived a good and long life when he died at 96 years old.

He was born at a time before airplanes, MTV, Xerox photocopy machines, cell phones and even the Internet. None of those events seemed to impact him much – throughout most of his life he got great joy out of reading books and talking with people, both activities which have been done for centuries.

He did live long enough to know his only grandson, my seven year-old son J. Traylor, who I know would have become the apple of his eye, as he is of mine.

One of the things I work with coaching clients on is to develop a sense of the narrative that you want to have inform the way you live your life. The way I frame the question is to ask “What story will your grandkids tell about you?”

Framing a life in that fashion helps you think about the things you want to do, as well as the things that waste your time and are of little importance: sort of version of “Your Song.”

In my dad’s case the story will be simple: he liked people, and was blessed with an everyman’s common touch.

Happy Veteran’s Day dad.