I don’t know him. At least, not as well as I can be.
He’s quiet, reserved – but never calm. In fact, he’s scornful to his delegates. He turns boiling angry easily, especially if you don’t do what he asks you to do ASAP.
He releases his anger through a religious routine of weekly morning golf sessions. Golf is all he could think of. No matter what he must get the ball into every hole he aims.
The man is always impatient and works overtime everyday. Always trying to solve his own problems by himself; never asks for help. He has proven he could do it all alone, well, not exactly alone. He started his own company with his brother from nil. They are part of an extra-large family of fourteen, excluding their parents. They didn’t finish high school, but earned billions within less than a decade, thanks to their fierce commitment and an unstoppable spirit to achieve financial independence.
Almost a decade later, his brother set out to venture something else. His brother asked, “Do you want to join me?”
“No,” he murmured, stuck on his current project, perhaps a glitch on the company cash-flow.
Very well then, they parted ways, though still sharing a certain percentage of earnings with each other – because a family is still a family.
In the blink of an eye he grows out white hair. No, he’s now bald with little chunks of white hair, and wears glasses. He’s still making money that can feed more than a household. In fact he’s just bought a new car, a modified sports car, something I would never imagine a man his age would drive.
He’s still mad all the time. He’s still running the company he started from nil. He’s still obsessed with golf. He’s brought home dozens of gold medals for his perfect strikes and made his dresser looked presentable. He’s still quiet, leaving only the much-adorned dresser speaks for itself.
He has never been mad at me. He’s never scolded me in any way. He always forgives, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres – he never fails to smile at me, even if it’s a little one. I imagine a very bad weather in his mind, but a degree of warmth exudes whenever he’s around me. He’s quiet, of course, but whenever I ask a question or a Barbie doll, he would always answer with a “yes.”
At times it’s a “no”, especially when I’m being impulsive. Then I would get angry and demand immediate gratification “I want a car ASAP!” But a No is a No.
So I kept quiet. I started to review my initial question: “Do I really want this? Am I really asking for that? Why did I ask? What do I want now?”
I became restless. I thought of many things to put on my wish list, but I wait before I ask. After a certain amount of time thinking, I always cross out that item on the list. And the next item. And the next.
I learn to go slow and be patient with the art of running long. Every week, at least once, I run. No matter how far it is, I must know where I’m heading, what I want. I know my teacher will never show me how to get it, because I have to go it alone, but he’s still in charge of disciplining me.
Whenever I’m on the run, I am all by myself. I feel stronger with each stride. I don’t think I need assistance other than that from barrels of drinking water.
The more I see the horizon, the larger it looks. Materialistic wishes are small and short-lived; what I want is something that lasts, something big to make my teacher proud.
I consulted him, and he gave me a sad smile. “I just don’t want you to be like me – just do what you love. You don’t have to worry about money.”
Thanks to my teacher, I learned a lifetime of lessons on how to develop the unstoppable spirit it requires to achieve the things that last. I glanced at my tattered Barbie dolls. Them flashy clothes and smiling faces looked fake. I spotted a tiny scratch on his sports car. Then I turned to study the wealth of gold medals on the dresser.
The man is a mysterious figure to most. Even I will never fully understand him as a person.
However, the man is my father, and I truly appreciate his love.