My grandpa, bless his heart, really stepped up to the plate and became the stable father figure in my life that I needed growing up. Only living a block away from my home, I could literally throw a softball into my grandparents’ yard from my front porch. That is, once I grew up and became more serious about the sport and was able to throw long distances with ease. I remember spending long summer evenings tossing a ball around the yard with my grandpa only resting for a quick popsicle break. He was my first teacher, my first role model, my first friend. I was his student in everything from softball, to math homework, to climbing trees. He picked me up from school each day while my grandma would start preparing dinner for the three of us.
Reflecting upon the years that I spent growing up and essentially learning everything I know about life, I’ve come to realize that the person that I’ve become is the person that my grandpa taught me to be. I strive every day to empower others around me and see the good in them just like he does. I would consider my top three strengths to be ones that I learned from him: creativity, innovation, and the ability to think outside the box. While these skills were learned and more outwardly visible in his more simple activities of yester-year, I see myself proving these strengths as my own in my day to day life as a Millennial immersed in a digital world. I am seeing more and more that these strengths are timeless and can be applied to things past and present.
Above all, my biggest values always have and always will be honesty and integrity. These are things that my grandpa drilled into my head from a young age. During my grandpa’s years as a United States Marine, he learned these core values as well as his life motto: Semper Fidelis, meaning ‘always faithful.’ I can never think of a time when he wasn’t faithful to a person, commitment, or his relationship with God.
So with that, I’ve decided to create my own personal mission statement. This is a statement of all that I have learned to do and all that I strive to be because of my grandpa:
I hope to infuse passion and drive into those I’m surrounded by, to be creative, pioneering, and innovative, to be honest and uphold the highest integrity, to work hard and stick faithfully to commitments, to enjoy life, and to, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”
I chose to end it with a quote from St. Ignatius because I truly believe that this quote encompasses all that I hope to do in the future. I want to take the world by storm, just as my most important role model did. Now I urge you, no mater how old, young, tired, or energized you are, think about your sentence. What defines you as a person and what do you want others to remember you by?