Memories of dad – Empowerment of a young leader

Memories of dad – Empowerment of a young leader

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Memories of dad – Empowerment of a young leader

Empowerment of a young leader

In my first couple years on Boy Scout camping trips, I got accustomed to dad always being on all of the trips, along with several other fathers. My Patrol voted me to be their Patrol Leader. A year later, my Troop voted me to be their Senior Patrol Leader. Nonetheless, I often walked over to the fathers’ campsite to ask dad to help me with whatever silly conundrum I faced at the moment, such as how to turn on my flashlight. I recall one instance when I did something like this and dad replied something like “You’d better go figure that out,” and he walked away. That was one of the greatest lessons of my life. The only thing that I needed in order to develop critical thinking and self-reliance was a situation with imperative for me to actually apply myself. It helped a lot.

For most of my childhood, I was encouraged to focus on nothing but academics. I excelled at that, and it was natural for me. Unfortunately, my extreme focus on academics was at the expense of me developing three faculties essential for functioning in the real world: common sense, critical thinking and self-reliance. His one well-timed and decisive prompting helped me get started with these. My progress was slow and unsteady until age 22 while I remained in the sheltered world of academia. The time when I really developed common sense and similar skills was while bicycling around the world and frequently being in intractable situations that I felt compelled to resolve without sufficient assistance available. I still remember the exact location of that day when he gave me that opportunity of empowerment.

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