Pete: A Son’s Lesson About Success

by Don Smith

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“I can't imagine being that old and being a golf caddie. How embarrassing.”, commented Michael as his golf caddie disappeared into the clubhouse. His father, Sam, gave him a look filled with sadness. “Son, if that's the way you look at the world, I've failed you. Let me tell you a little story about that caddie.” Michael turned to his father with a puzzled look and waited expectantly for him to explain what he meant.

“That caddie's name is Pete.”, began Sam.

Pete: A Son's Lesson About Success

“He has 3 kids who have all now graduated from Ivy League schools. Pete worked the first half of his adult life as an attorney, putting in 80 hours a week, barely seeing his family. One day, he came home and his wife told him that he had to make a choice, she was tired of raising her children by herself. It was the job, or her. So Pete quit. He left a booming law practice and purchased this little country club. He now works a few hours a day, serving as a caddie because he enjoys visiting with people, and earns more than he ever did as an attorney. He's never been happier.”

Michael sucked in his breath and quietly said, “You mean THE Pete? The owner of this place, the richest man in town?”.

The richest man in town's car?
Was that Pete's Ride in the Parking Lot?

His dad chuckled. “That would make a good story, wouldn't it? Actually, son, his name is Pete, but I'm really not certain what his background is, I made up that story. He might be the main guy for all I know. My point is that you don't know this guy's story. What I do know is that he is out here working, and I've talked to him enough to know that he loves what he does. He's a good man, an equal to anyone out here including either of us in my opinion. A specific job is not what makes a man successful. You can't judge someone based on what they do, what clothes they wear, what color skin they have, or what they drive. Everyone has a story, you'll figure that out eventually if you take the time to get to know them.

“I know people from every walk of life that I look up to, not because of what they do or what they have, but because of who they are, in here.”, he continued, tapping his chest for emphasis. “Son, if you had a job that provides for your family and treated everyone you met with respect like Pete does, I would be very proud of you.”

Michael slowly nodded as the realization of why his dad looked so sad when he first looked at him sank in. “Guess I never really thought about it that way.”

Just then, Pete walked back out of the clubhouse. “Hey Pete, looks like it's going to be a nice day out isn't it? I'm Michael. I'll bet you have some interesting stories to share.”, began Michael as they headed back to the course. Pete smiled and began, “You have no idea…”

Every person has a story. Don't assume you know it.

Sam smiled broadly. He knew Michael had understood the lesson and was quickly growing into a man he was proud to call his son. It was going to be a good day.

About the Author: Don Smith is a proud father of 5. He's currently the General Manager for an IT company, serves on company boards, is a life and business coach, and is the founder and one of the primary authors of The Personal Growth Channel. For more information, visit our about us page by clicking here.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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