BY MARIA LUISA SALCINES
There is nothing I admire more in a man than one who loves and takes care of his family. I am fortunate to have been raised by a father who has always put his family first.
Over the years I have learned so much from my dad just from watching him live his life.
One of the most important lessons he taught me was that regardless of your circumstances you always have a choice.
In his mid 20s he chose to leave Cuba with his wife and two small children. He knew that life would be better for his family in a country where his children could grow up free.
Those first few years were very difficult financially and emotionally for my parents. But my dad never ran away from his problems, recognizing life’s challenges as something you get through one step at a time.
He taught me by example that you can do anything you want. But, that you also have to be practical.
My mom was the dreamer; my dad has always been a realist. Growing up with this combination allowed me to grow up with a wide range of ideas and a balanced perspective of life.
My dad taught me that in order to have anything in life you have to work hard and make sacrifices. And that no one dies from working long hours or feeling tired. Work is part of life and it’s not something to whine and complain about.
Doing a good job and being responsible is the only way to live life. If you are going to do something do it well, if not why bother. A job is not only to make money and provide for your family, but also something to be proud of.
He taught me our thoughts create things while being lazy or a victim is not how you accomplish things. Nothing is ever easy, and everything takes effort.
In our home we were raised to be proud of being Cuban, of speaking Spanish, and we were told over and over again that if someone didn’t understand us, or like us it was their problem not ours.
You are who you are. Be proud of your heritage, and don’t change for anyone was one of the most important lessons my brother and I were taught.
Throughout my life I have been blessed with a father whose love I have always been able to count on, and who has taught me that living according to our values and truth is the most satisfying thing in life.
Te quiero mucho Papi! And to my love, thank you for being such an amazing father to our children.
Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram at mlsalcines. You can also contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.