Showing Up for Life

In his book “Showing Up for Life“, Bill Gates Sr. writes down his ‘thoughts on the gifts of a lifetime.’

I love the simplicity of his words. It made the unraveling of his memories in words more heartfelt. I love the ordinariness of their family life made extraordinary. One of the many ironic things in life is living one, but always dreaming of another. Thereby, not really ‘living’ in the ordinary sense, but more of ‘dreaming’ of the what if’s and has been’s. Sometimes we don’t really need to have the most profound words in order to ‘live’. Most of the time we just need to listen to the music of the surrounding circumstances of people, place and time, and move to the beat of our hearts and minds. More or less, it all comes down to faith. May it be faith in the Creator, faith in the universe, faith in yourself, faith in the people surrounding you, faith in the time given to you, faith in the life bestowed upon you.

In the chapter entitled “Things I Learned from My Children,” Bill Sr. Shares this one lesson he learned as a parent:

“I learned from Trey (Bill Gates) that childhood curiosity can last a lifetime.

Trey collected his own college degree long after he and Melinda were married. He had dropped out of college in 1975 as a Harvard sophomore. The impetus had come from a phone call he made from his dormitory room to a company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that had begun making the world’s first personal computer.

Of course Mary and I were sick when Trey told us he planned to leave college. However, he promised us that he would go back to Harvard, “later,” to get his degree.

“Later” finally arrived thirty two years down the road on June 7, 2007, the day Harvard awarded Trey an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. After the appropriate acknowledgements, Trey told the audience, “I’ve been waiting more than thirty years to say this.” Then he looked out into the audience, directly at me, and said, “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get me degree.”

Perhaps there’s a lesson in this for the parents of other curious children, who, from the start, require the freedom to meet life on their own terms. It is that there is no statute of limitations on the dreams you have for your children. And there is no way to predict how much delight you might feel when those dreams are realized in a far different way than you could have imagined.”

Thank you for sharing these lovely words on life, love, family, public service, and dreams, Bill Gates Sr.! This book will definitely be a go-to-read!

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