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Men of Integrity  

By Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.
The Truth Contributor

Character, not circumstances, makes the man. 

                 - Booker T. Washington                        


Rev. Donald L. Perryman, D.Min.

It can be safely argued that a child’s relationship to their father or a father figure – both good and bad – largely determines how they will feel about themselves in their adult years.

In honor of Fathers’ Day, I have spent the month of June 2018 exploring how the lives of local men have been shaped or impacted by the relationship with their fathers.

This week I had the privilege of speaking with Will Lucas, a 38-year old father, husband and owner of CREADIO, a full-service marketing agency.

Perryman: What comes to mind when you think of your dad from your childhood?

Lucas: He was the hardest-working person I knew. Not only was he working full-time at General Motors’ Hydra-Matic, but also he was very ambitious in the way that he always had something else going on as well to provide for his family.  So whether it was fixing people’s computers on the side, or a separate business in his spare time, he was always trying to make something else work besides just sticking to the main job that he had to support the family. 

Perryman: What would you say that you learned most from your father?

Lucas: For me, his highest quality, in my mind, is his integrity. The thing that I’ve valued most is how he has always performed whatever he was doing with integrity.

Perryman:  Right. And so when you speak of integrity, what do you mean? To me, the word connotes ethical principles, a missing component of much leadership that we see today. However, for others, the word integrity might suggest something more nuanced. Can you elaborate what you mean by integrity when used in the context of your father?

Lucas:  Absolutely. I mean not only in the way that he did what he said he was gonna do, but also that the same person who he portrayed to be outside of the home, he was the same person inside the home. So he was never just two different people, creating a show for anybody.  He also was just who he was and he is who he is. 

Perryman:  What a tremendous benefit to a child growing up with that kind of person as a role model. Are there any memories of special occasions when you might have done things together? 

Lucas:  I remember going to New York with him. This had to be the late 90s or early 2000s, the only road trip we had taken together. So, we were going back and forth to different recording studios and I remember getting to Puff Daddy’s in New York. He had songs on the radio at the time. But my dad -- he had a way with words -- people would let us in that normally, they probably wouldn’t let people in to. Puff Daddy wasn’t there. But his engineer was there. So I do have a picture of me inside with Leo where a lot of those records that Puff Daddy had produced were made. And it was only because my dad was able to hustle us in for a tour.

Perryman:  He talked his way in, unannounced, to getting a tour of Diddy’s (Sean Combs) studio?

Lucas:  Yeah, yeah.  And this is New York, so you can’t get anywhere on the street without previously arranging something.  He found a way. Just walking in from off the street. 

Perryman:  So what are some of the lessons that your father taught you, that you still carry with you?

Lucas:  So here’s one particularly that I’ll never forget. I had to be in my early teens.  He told me, ‘Son, everybody pays in life. Some people pay now, some people pay later, but everybody pays.  You don’t get anything without paying.’ 

Perryman: What has been the impact of that sagacious advice on you today?

Lucas:  In whatever levels of success that I’ve achieved, there’s a lot of hard work that goes into getting it.  To the outside, it may look like it’s been easy and that its been fast, but people don’t see necessarily the work that you put in to achieve anything that you obtain. So I work really hard outside of what everybody sees publicly to make things happen. And so I don’t expect anything to come easily. Once in a while, they do come easily, but to get anything meaningful and valuable, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. 

Perryman: What other lessons have you learned from your father?

Lucas: I got my entrepreneurial spirit from him. We’d always have a bunch of computer equipment just lying around in the basement. My room was also in the basement. And his office was next to my room. So there were always computer parts, like motherboards, main processors, or screens and monitors, that type.

My father would work on computers that belonged to people from church. And, you know, my desire for technology came from listening to him over the phone. This is before the days of being able to share your screen. So people from the church, would call and say I got the following, XYZ. He could talk them through, over the phone, telling them what to do and what was going to happen next. Without seeing their screen, he could say up in the left-hand corner this will happen, and when this happens, this will come up and you should do this, XYZ. I was always amazed at how he could do that not seeing the screen.

 That gave me my initial appetite for technology and just the spirit with which he always had in doing something outside of his day job that gave me the entrepreneurial spirit to build something of my own.

Perryman:  Talk about Will Lucas as a father, yourself, from your perspective as a young man. Describe the joys and challenges.  

Lucas:  I think for me, probably the biggest challenge, being an entrepreneur, is thinking past my world and developing a level of patience that I didn’t have previous to not having kids. I’m learning to be a better teacher. It’s, I think, developing that patience.  And showing how things are done and being able to explain things about the world to a person who has experienced very little of it, and at the same time trying to protect them from some of those things.  That has been something that’s been important. So today, I have three little ones that even when the house is loud and they’re going crazy and all kinds of things like that, its about trying to remember that they won’t always be that small and to appreciate the time we have right now.

Perryman:  Finally, what advice about fatherhood do you have for younger or new fathers?

Lucas:  Probably the best advice I could give to a father is, I think, the presence of being there. Having resources to provide for them is important but all the time they don’t even know what they have and what they don’t have.  But being there, I think, is the most important thing.  And not just there physically but there, engaged in what they’ve (children) got going on.  So it matters when you play with your son.  Or it matters when you’re talking to your daughter about dolls or it matters if you’re helping your kids accomplish those things that matter to them. 

But also, for as long as you have him, not only should you appreciate your own father but also to make sure that he knows that you appreciate the work that he’s put in. Sometimes kids never fully understand all that it takes to provide for them and help shape their lives.

Contact Rev. Donald Perryman, D.Min, at drdlperryman@centerofhopebaptist.org



Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:10 -0700.



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