Today, on the dawn of a new year, I am full of gratitude for my impeccable wife, loving children, wonderful parents who gave me my strength and compassion, my unconditional friendships, extended family, and amazing teammates and clients (many of whom are my dear friends). But today I am also equally mourning the fact that I won’t ever see one of my best friends, my father-in-law, Surindar Ambardar, again.
Instead of wallowing in sorrow, I’d like to spread a message of hope based on his character. First, I need to give you some backstory. There are many people out there that are extremely charitable, they are compelled to help others. They do so because of two human needs. The first need is a “need of the ego”, and it’s called Significance. We want to matter and be remembered. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s rooted in “status” and others knowing they gave. Visualize the billionaire who insists on a photo-op of passing the CEO of a charity a oversized check to imagine what I mean.
The other need that giving fulfills is a “need of the spirit” called Contribution. People that are driven by contribution get joy from the ACT of giving, not only the acknowledgment of said giving. They give because they MUST give, it’s part of who they are.
Daddu is driven by Contribution. (I say “is” because his contribution will live on indefinitely as it will permeate through time via all the people whose life arcs he has bended towards the light). Yes, Significance mattered to him. He had a trophy case of the dozens of award from Rotary and other organizations he participated in (as do I ;-)) Additionally though, when he passed, my mother-in-law received letter upon letter of people’s whose lives he had touched. People she barely knew and he never mentioned felt compelled to let her know that because of him their lives were made better, that he helped them become the best version of themselves. When I think about how many people they will positively impact, and that it compounds over time exponentially, it astounds me.
My heart aches whenever I think of him, sometimes to the point I’m almost inconsolable. But I take solace in the fact that when he laid his head to rest at night, he knew that he lived his Dharma of being an amazing father, son, husband, brother, entrepreneur, mentor, and Contributor.
The world is brighter place because of you, Daddu, and I’ll see you on the other side. Til then, I’ll keep paying it forward.