It’s been said that behind every great man there’s a great woman and it’s probably true. I don’t know if this has ever been said but I was thinking that behind every happy woman I’ve ever met, is a good man. The other thing that came to mind was that while there are many great men in the world, not all of them are good and then I thought, good men are a rarity to our world aren’t they? So are good women, so perhaps just good people are a rarity, which is why it hurts to see one leave us.
I’m writing today to mourn one such person, who though I did not spend a massive amount of time with, I know to be a good man. I know this because the first time I met him, I lied to him. I told him I’d bring his daughter back by midnight, I remember clearly how I shook in my boots when we returned the next morning. He opened the front door for us but didn’t hold it against me and at that time I saw, that unlike a lot of people who forget, he knew that children have growing up to do and left room for it.
There were other things about him as well. He never matched his turban with his tie, he always had a smile on his face, he enjoyed reading Chuck Palahnuik and he enforced his house rules firmly but not cruelly. There’s a fine line between fascism and good parenting and from what I saw, he toed it well.
Another way to tell if a man truly has a good heart is to look at his family. A broken man will have a fractured home, a coward will raise fearful children, selfish men have hollow kin but whatever else they are, a good man’s children are always at peace with themselves. This innate confidence comes from growing up in an environment that expects from you what you can give it and no more, it comes from having always received unconditional love and respect.
I’ve known his children for a while now, so I’ve seen their struggles with themselves and because I’ve seen others struggle in the same way but without any help, I know that they were never wanting for support and hence are now able to reciprocate the same faith for others. It’s an important lesson that any father must teach their young but very few have learnt themselves.
There are innumerable lessons that he passed on to me and from what I saw, many others, but mostly I’m grateful that he taught his daughter to love as well as he did, because someday I’ll need a real friend and I know she knows how to be one. That is another rarity in today’s world.
Goodbye uncle.... the world would’ve done well to have you with them longer but I’m sure you’re making wherever it is that you are, a better place.