Passing on Important Life Lessons & Values

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Return with Honor – The Purpose of Life – To Make a Difference!

A powerful quote to live by and an important life lesson to teach children and grandchildren.

The Lillard boys – Joe, Sam and Luke are amazing kids! They are five, seven and 11 years old. Their grandfather, Dick, is the Chairman of where I work. Not only is he my boss, he and his family have become my precious friends.

Return-with-Honor-Plaque-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsThis year was the first time all three boys traveled on a business trip together with grandparents and parents to Washington, D.C. to meet with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation.

We scheduled all day meetings and the boys were troopers going from building to building, meeting to meeting and sometimes waiting long periods of time. They were respectful when they met with congressional staff and the congressmen were extremely impressed! They looked so handsome in their suits!


Congressman Mullin giving Joe, Sam & Luke Lillard Commitment Coins.

They were exceptionally well-behaved for their age, for being boys in a business environment and most importantly being brothers!  At the end of a very long day, they were tired, hungry and ready to get out of their suits to do something fun. Even then, they were sweet, polite and still not complaining… well maybe a little but by now we had been at this for several hours.

I said to Dick, “They are so good and I know you are proud of them. But how do you do it?” The Lillard family leads by example so I was not surprised when Dick said, “We have a plaque on the backdoor of our home and on the backdoor of the boys’ home that says Return with Honor – The Purpose of Life – To Make a Difference.”

What he said next made a lasting impression. “Every time we leave the house, we touch the plaque and they have been doing it even when they couldn’t reach it – we would pick them up to touch it.”


Senator Inhofe and the Lillard Family

What a wonderful way to teach honor, respect and purpose! When I got home, I made plaques for my sons to place on their backdoor even though they are grown men, one for my nephew for his 10th birthday and one for our home.

In the world today, where everything revolves around “ME-ME-ME” teaching our children to think of others and how we can make a difference is an important life lesson that all of us can practice at any age.

Oh, one more thing… the boys were not 100% perfect. Are you kidding me?! They’re brothers! After waiting for almost an hour for a congressman whose plane had been delayed due to snow,  the boys did get into a scuffle out in the hall. That’s when Dick looked at me and said, “The quote doesn’t always work.”

Oh well!

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.  – Calvin Coolidge

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