LOS ANGELES, June 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Most men carry with them through life lessons from their fathers, many of which were learned without anything being said. The following is excerpted from the chapter "Work" from the book The Men's Code of Honor: 66 Principles That Make a Man by Dan Stradford from Whisper Canyon Publishing:
"By the time I reached adolescence, my father had spent most of my lifetime in mental hospitals. During one particular period in my early teens when he was home, I heard him tell my mother he had managed to get a job. She was furious, telling him the family would make more money on welfare than from his minimum-wage labors.
"My father, troubled though he was, could not conceive of avoiding work to support his family if he had the ability and opportunity to do so. He also could not imagine himself collecting welfare if he was fit enough to work.
"I saw him come home from his job at a factory that manufactured "sweeping compound," a red sawdust product that smelled like gasoline, used as an aid to cleaning floors. Dad stepped off the bus at the end of the day, his clothes stained red and reeking of petroleum.
"Not long after, he got a job shoveling scrap wire into an industrial oven that burned the insulation off the metal. It was the only work he could find, a two-hour bus ride to and from our home. When I asked him about what he did, he talked with pride about how hard he worked all day to do his job well.
"I was ashamed of him in those days. I didn't want my friends to know about his mental condition and humble occupation. But as I recall this, I see what my youthful eyes did not—that I also held this man in awe.
"I could not then imagine myself enduring what he did—forcing himself to rise at 4 AM every day to face riding buses for four hours, toxic fumes, scratches from jagged metal, back-breaking shoveling, the blast of a furnace, and working in filth on a daily basis.
"And still he took pride in his labor and took seriously his duty to earn his pay.
"Decades later, as I look upon these things, my father embarrass me for a different reason. I'm not so sure I would have stood as tall in his shoes."