When I was growing up, my brother Eddie had a few yards that he would push-mow in the neighborhood. He would get $2.50 each time he cut the grass. We grew up in a subdivision where everyone had the same-size yard, the same-size house and the same-size driveway. I can remember my mom saying the house payment was $56.00 per month.
I knew my brother really liked me because he would always let me go with him and help push that lawnmower as much as I wanted to. I was seven years younger than he was, but 20 years behind him when it came to making business decisions back then.
We both learned a few sayings from our dad, and what he was really saying beneath the surface. He would say, “Let’s go out and spend a couple hours together.” Most men would get their boys and go hunting, fishing or golfing, or just hang out somewhere. Well, when dad said this, we knew our outing would be from morning until dark and usually would involve something that was labor intensive.
In fact, my best friends frequently refused to spend the night with me on Fridays because they knew Mr. DeLoach would be in the room before daylight getting us up to “spend a couple hours together.” If they did, we would go to Bulloch County to the farm or work on a house we were rebuilding. We always had many options for entertainment.
I tell you this because my dad was way ahead of his time when it came to dealing with and developing people for future decision-making opportunities. He recognized that work has a way of developing good habits, character and leadership. His approach reminds me of a familiar quote:
Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I will remember, involve me and I will learn.
I put this quote into practice with my daughters Abbie and Annie. I used to have written contracts with the girls when it came to their grades and personal choices as they became young ladies. I had them wash my truck early in the morning on Saturdays because Eddie and I hand-washed our dad’s ’67 Chevrolet four-door Impala until the blue paint came off.
The greatest example of learning and attaining wisdom for how to be successful and confident, and to have a passionate life, Rebuild gave us simple instructions. Regarding the most important commandment, He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” And the second is like the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said, “Follow me.” When we put our hearts and minds to this work, we will be and live as He intended for us.