I normally write about business. Today, the first anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of my father’s passing, I would like to write about business lessons from my father, from whom I learned the most valuable lessons of all.
I cannot give a true insight into his life, his soul, his joy and happiness in life – even and perhaps especially during difficult times – in a short post. I can share, as I did with my family yesterday evening, some of the key life lessons about how a person should conduct himself. These explain the type of honest man he was, but also why he was the businessman he was, and how it influenced me.
Yesterday evening I pulled these from the “Mishna”, the 6 sets of books, written around 2 millennia ago, that serve as the foundational text of Jewish law. The lessons, however, apply to all people, in life and in business, and were the very nature of his character. My father believed one should be:
- Responsible: Take care of yourself first and foremost, never being a burden to others if you can help it.
- Charitable: Be charitable with both your time and money, but never so much that you yourself become dependent upon it. You need to take care of yourself and enjoy your life, too.
- Fair: Earn what you deserve, deserve what you earn
- Accommodating: When you can, and it is for the greater good, compromise, even if it hurts your pride.
- Faithful: Be true to religion and its mandates, your beliefs, and God, but never let that get in the way of being a “mensch” — a gentleman, a human, and respectful of others, especially if they are doing the same.
- Sensible: Use your common sense, your brain; it is God’s manifestation in the human. Always use your head.
May his memory be a blessing and inspiration for all who knew him and those who only hear his voice now.