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As Long as We Remember...

June 18, 2012

A Fatherís Day Reflection

Steven R. Berryman

As the old Jewish saying goes, you don't always get the parents you want; you get the parents you need. The exact way I heard it was from the guy that owned AudioKrafters in Washington – on the birth of one of my children.


It went like this: "The parents don't get to choose the child; the child chooses the parents.” Steve Goldstein was his name, that's right.


My parents didn't adopt a formal religion, but I was once told by my Dad years ago that if he had based a religion choice on principles that we would have been Jewish. Made sense, as these were the Fried, Frank days for Dad's law practice, a prominent and predominantly Jewish firm, and that was the influence.


I morphed into a rebellious child at a fairly young age, and was an experimenter and open minded, a direct result of my parents’ influence. Mom got to stay at home and Dad had a thriving law practice that kept him away from home a lot, especially when I was younger. Mom filled-in, and I always missed my Dad.


Feeling a little left out, I developed into an independent child to the point of being overly so; then when it mattered socially, I swung back even further in the opposite direction! I know that my escapades and occasional troubled moments weighed on both Mom and Dad.


Not being a great student in practice, I disappointed both myself and my parents. Later a circumstance called ADD came along that explained my issues, along with dyslexia. The great irony was that I had the greatest love and respect for learning and knowledge, but was trapped by circumstances. Despite poor grades, I unknowingly compensated by becoming a voracious reader and consumed hundreds of books in my teens. Later in life this would play out in advanced vocabulary and related skills, as we always end up developing coping skills in life.


I credit the above to my Dad and Mom both as part of the Judeo-Christian tradition; they set a great example for me here.


Eventually I fully compensated for a poor start in life academically between self-teaching and the management schools within the various corporations I worked for, such as Montgomery Ward, Target, and Balaton Marketing. I served as an executive and manager in several, and benefited greatly from their internal business colleges, along with those of others.


During the early 1980s, I read the entire shelf of popular business and management books of Borders.


Through this all I always begrudged my Dad the time he used on his career, missing more of the attention. The mind plays tricks, and old TV shows always had a brown tweed, touchy-feely Dad present, along with a Mom in pearls. My Dad had been teaching by example all along, and I only realized this later in life during a moment of clarity.


As I think that I turned out pretty well – all things considered – fault finding on my part was truly a needless exercise of the ego.


He had been there all along, dong things his way. As they say: "The parents don't get to choose the child; the child chooses the parents."


Happy Father's Day, Dad. Love, --Steve.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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