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LESSONS FROM MY FATHER

“Make yourself as indispensable as possible to your boss ... but remember nobody is indispensable.”

On marriage: “Every morning when I think about life with your mother or without your mother, I choose your mother.”

My Dad taught me how being patient and then speaking fewer words can often be more impactful than saying a lot.

Growing up Dad worked 6 days/week, went to college 2 nights/week for 12 years to get his college degree and studied on Sundays. Somehow, he was also very present in my life. He taught me how to do what it takes to provide for your family while still being present for the ones you love.

The many fierce political debates I had with my father taught me that someone with very different views can be a good & loving person. So, instead of labeling and demonizing those who disagree, get to know them as human beings. It would be a much better world if people, politicians and the media took this to heart.

corey kupfer dad

In 1973, at age 12, I received a formative lesson from my Dad (and Mom). White parents in Canarsie, Brooklyn kept their kids home from school for two weeks to boycott school integration via bussing. My parents sent me to school making clear they didn’t support the boycott. I was 1 of 3 kids out of 40 in my home room to attend.

A few days before he died, while home in bed under hospice care, my Dad was encouraging a friend to take his wife on the vacation they had talked about for years but not taken. He said “I traveled to 25 countries, have a great family and have done the things I wanted to do. I have no regrets. Take that vacation. When you are in my situation, you don’t want to have any regrets.” After hearing that, I realized that this is the ultimate definition of winning the game of life - to die without any regrets. Thanks for that final lesson, Dad. I’m in! How about you?

FROM THE BOOK

MY MENTORS

AUTHENTIC CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE PROJECT

FRESH START EXERCISE

RIA INDEPENDENCE