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This Father's Day

Like most young men, I have a complicated relationship with my dad. In all honesty, my most vivid childhood memories consist of more painful recollections than not. Past pieces I’ve written have mentioned some of the relational strain between my father and I, but what I don’t mention is that this strain goes all the way back to my youth. None of this is unique, nor is it some sort of particularly difficult burden, either. But what I find interesting is that despite the tensions, frustrations, and pain from the past, those are not what comes to mind when I choose to think about who my dad is, or the things he taught me.

“If you remember nothing else, remember this,” he would tell me, over and over again. “You carry our family name with you. It’s your job to represent our family, and to remember the three things our family doesn’t do: we never lie, we never cheat, and we never steal.” In hindsight, it seems more productive to define yourself by ...

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