and proud

Writing

9 June/Posted by aaronplaat

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Given the number of ads I’ve seen over the past few weeks for the celebration of Father’s Day, I thought it appropriate to share some of the things on my mind as the day approaches.

One of my favorite possessions, of all the ‘cool and unique’ items I own, is a small black Craftsman tool chest, filled with tools. My Dad bought it for me around the time i was in kindergarten; taking me to Sears and assembling my very first tool set. A pair of pliers, small wooden hammer, flathead and phillips screwdriver, small wrench set. He told me the virtues of Craftsman tools; being forever covered by a lifetime warranty, one could take any broken tool and exchange it at Sears, free of charge, for a new tool…should they ever break.

In the years I’ve owned Craftsman tools, I’ve never had a single one break or require me to replace it. I’ve snapped, bent, and destroyed countless other tools created by inferior brands.

Last year, as I was vacating my beloved office in downtown Dallas – the result of a dishonest business partner – the one thing I returned to the office to retrieve was my Dad’s hammer. Craftsman. Fiberglass handle and worn with years of age and use.

He also left behind a small red screwdriver with a pistol grip, allowing you to use full arm strength to drive screws into walls, wood, or even concrete. This was one of the last tools I ever remember him purchasing and showing off to me.

“Always use the right tools for the right job” was one of the main lasting pieces of advice I remember him telling me during one of our many garage sessions. He was probably watching me try to drive in a nail with a screwdriver handle.

I believe there’s an innate sense within parents to create a better world for their children than the life they had growing up. This was very clearly displayed in the way my grandparents raised their children – for better or for worse- and also the way my parents raised me – for better or for worse.

“We’ll see.”

If you’re a Plaat child or my mother, you know what these words mean.

Looking back on the lessons my Dad taught me, the one thing I learned was the value of keeping one’s word. The way he taught us this valuable lesson was in the countless times we heard “We’ll see…” often with disappointment following, as the “see” part was in the realization that the discussed item wasn’t ever going to happen.

As I’ve grown older as an adult, I’ve realized how much of a commitment it is to keep one’s word. As a personal guarantor on the office space I vacated last year, I’ve been responsible for the lease balance on a now-closed business. When making promises to loved ones, I’ve watched as the financial cost can climb higher than expectation. Yet, there hasn’t been a single case where I’ve kept my word and have regretted it, with time/financial costs being the last thing on my mind.

There will be a follow-up.

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