Pop taught the value of being ‘uncool’
Today, my grandfather, Hewitt Wilson, celebrates his 69th Father’s Day. He will celebrate it as a father to two daughters; grandfather to two granddaughters and great-grandfather to four great-granddaughters. Yes, that’s eight females total and you better believe he is completely spoiled.
He is the best of the best and has taught me so many things. He is a World War II veteran who was awarded a Bronze Star along with other medals of achievement during his time of service. He has owned his own farm, helped build a company from the ground up and been a devoted husband to my grandmother, Dorothy, for 70 years.
While I am beyond proud of my pop for all of his accomplishments, there is one reason that sticks out more than the others.
In my 32 years of life, he has taught me the importance of being uncool.
Let me explain.
While I have only known him for a fraction of his life, I’ve seen enough of his actions and heard enough stories from my family to know that being cool was never important to my grandfather.
He has moved quietly amongst his family, friends, co-workers, church congregation and community, helping where he could and never asking for or seeking recognition. He has moved family across the country, spent long hours planting crops, spending extra time at work to help out his employees, as well as countless other deeds that required his time and effort with little or no appreciation.
He was, and continues to be, a supporter of everyone. He may not agree with your opinion, but he has always welcomed everyone with open arms. He always has a smile, handshake and a kind word for everyone.
We recently celebrated my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary at their home church in Lawrenceburg. Over 100 people showed up to wish them well. At one point, a church member whom I have known since childhood pulled me aside, pointed to my grandfather and said, “They just don’t make men like him anymore.”
In a day and age when claiming the spotlight at any cost seems to be the name of the game, I take heed to my grandfather’s actions and words.
It’s not cool to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see their side of things. It’s not cool to agree to disagree and love each other anyway. It’s not cool to go out of your way to help someone just because he might need it.
While it may not be the “cool” thing to do it is the right thing, and my grandfather taught me that it’s always worth it.
He’s also taught me that there are men in the world who move quietly along in life doing the right thing without needing any recognition for their good deeds.
While they may never see the spotlight, they continue doing good anyway, knowing the effect of their good deeds will last far longer than 15 minutes of fame.
So while he’s not perfect, and he’s never claimed to be, for that he gets the prize for being the coolest.
Happy Father’s Day, Pop, and Happy Father’s Day to all you “cool” dads out there.