Message from the CEO: Reach out to someone you care about on Father's Day
It was a bit surprising when I encountered a father and his toddler son in the aisle of the grocery store recently, and saw that both of them were carrying on conversations on their mobile phones.
“That kid can’t be much more than two,” I said to myself. “What’s he doing with his own mobile phone? And who could he possibly be talking to?”
Then they got a bit closer and I realized that while they both were having conversations, only the father had a mobile phone. The smaller of the two great communicators was intently speaking into his hand, which, like his general tone of voice, mimicked precisely what he had observed his father doing. It was clear through every gesture and every word that this child wanted to be like his dad. Like father, like son.
I remembered when our son was young there were times he would walk very close to me — mimicking my every step and turn. Rather than being annoyed, I rather liked it. I liked having him near me, and I liked the fact that he seemed to be picking up energy just from being close.
And I also remember when I was very small, nearly running to keep up with my dad. Trying to stay as close as I could just because it made no sense to be any farther away from this great primal force in the world than absolutely necessary. I remember learning to do things on my own by watching him, and I remember the constant encouragement to pay attention.
On Sunday, Father’s Day, I am very likely to use my mobile phone to call my dad on his mobile phone. And I’m reasonably certain that I’ll get the same kind of call from my son.
Who will you connect with this Father’s Day? Perhaps it will be to affirm your own father, or someone who has been like a father to you. Or maybe it will be to accept the generous affection of those you have nurtured. I hope that there will be some means — mobile phone or otherwise — that enables you to strengthen ties with those you love.
Watching those two in the store the other day made me realize that these are phone calls that we’ve been practicing, and making, for a long, long time. And I hope they never stop.
About The Author
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas. More stories by this author