Regardless of the independent attitude of the typical teenager I cannot deny that my father is often the voice in my head, the voice urging me to do what is right, to share, to think of others before thinking of myself. My father has helped shape the core of my beliefs. He’s often been the leader of a ward, or congregation, in our church, wherever we live. Religion plays a great role in our home, but beyond my religious personality, my dad influenced an attitude in me of genuine concern for others.
One night in mid-November, around 11:00 PM my dad got a phone call. Now normally, my dad would be dead asleep by 9:30, if not earlier. Even if he did hear his phone, I doubted he would answer it because he had work early in the morning. Nonetheless, I heard his ringtone and less than three minutes later he came down to where I was watching a late night episode of The Simpsons. “Want to run an errand with me?” He asked, sliding his arms through his windbreaker. “Um, I guess so,” was my agitated teenage response.
We got in our Honda and headed towards the lake. We drove through dimly lit streets, bumpy roads, and back alleys. If I’d been riding this route with anyone else I would have probably typed 911 into my cell phone screen. Eventually we pulled into a gravel parking lot where four college-aged students in their pajamas leaned against a green Ford. I’m not one to question my dad, so I sat there in confusion until I could make out a sign on the fence behind them. “Larry’s Towing” didn’t seem to ring any bells. What in the world were we doing here at 11:30 on a school night?
After chatting and waiting for 15 minutes or so, a large tow truck pulled into the lot. My dad went to talk to the driver while I continued to sit with the students who, I’d discovered, were part of my dad’s ward. I watched as my dad chatted with and paid for the towing expenses of one of the girls’ car. After some more discussion, things wrapped up and we headed home.
My dad and I never mentioned this experience again, but I can’t seem to forget it. I’ve noticed his pattern of service throughout my life. My dad is willing to help others, no matter the cost. It makes no difference to him whether they are family or the cousin of a distant acquaintance. He is ready to help others and doesn’t hesitate to offer his services, despite his time consuming schedule.
Although I don’t always have the patience or resources that my dad does, I remember his “drop everything and help” attitude. I want to be the kind of person that someone can call with any favor, and know I’m willing to do my best to help them. That is precisely why I believe in always answering the phone.