Monday, March 3, 2008

My Role Model

This doesn't have much to do with eating locally or seasonally for that matter, but it has to do with inspiration. My dad has been my greatest role model for all of my life. He recently retired from a 40+ year career with the same company. Not too commmon these days and of course is difficult for someone of my generation to understand. He has taught me the ability to be passionate about life and that it's ok to take chances and it's ok to fail. There are always new opportunities out there and more to learn about ourselves and the world around us. My father had a great retirement party where people flew in from all over the world to toast his success. He received some amazing gifts, but my favorite by far was from an old colleague that included this quote:

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them...about the only thing you can't do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

This is commonly misattributed to Jack Kerouac and I'm not actually sure who said it. More importantly is that it embodies everything about my father. Every time I go home to visit my parents I sit and read this and think about what my dad means to me. Even though I come from a family that prefers meat over vegetables and Costco over organic, my father tries to understand and respect my passion for the local food movement. Even though he may not support it, he supports me and I feel lucky for that. Happy Early Birthday Dad.