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Column | Positively Speaking

Positively Speaking | Toby Moore: Memories my father gave me

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Toby Moore

Toby Moore

As Gary Moore’s son, I had a unique vantage point to get to know my father in a way that almost nobody else could. He was a fantastic father!

I observed how he treated his family, close friends, distant friends, business associates, and strangers. He treated everybody with respect.

As a boy, I sat in his office, playing with toys, listening to his phone calls, and watching how he conducted his meetings. He was filled with enthusiasm.

He was at almost all of my Karate tournaments, soccer games, and swim meets. When I failed, he brought me up. When I succeeded, it was a celebration. He was a source of constant encouragement.

Every day he said to me, “Toby, you can do anything you want in this world and be successful, as long as you don’t hurt others in the process.” I usually rolled my eyes, “I know, dad,” sometimes taking for granted that I had a father who believed in me.

I watched as he crawled his way from the bottom to the top of one business and then did it again with another. I watched him succeed, and I watched him fail; I observed how he dealt with it all. I didn’t always understand, but the memories remain, and upon reflection; I couldn’t have asked for a better role model.

The phrase “practice what you preach,” goes back thousands of years. The Roman playwright Plautus said, “Practice yourself what you preach.” I can say with complete confidence my father practiced what he preached. Did he have his failings? We all do, but even in his failings, he was quick to get back on track.

How was he able to do this? Was it because he listened to Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, and other motivational speakers? Was it because of the hundreds of books he studied on human excellence? Was it his belief in what Jesus taught in the gospels?

Actions speak louder than words, and you can usually tell what somebody believes by their actions. My father's actions displayed precisely what he believed.

When I was a child, there was a mother and her son who rode their bikes by the office every day. There was a barbershop next door, and one day the mother took her son for a haircut. When finished, they walked out to find the boy’s bike was stolen. With tears in their eyes, the mother explained to my dad that she didn’t have money to buy him a new bike. My father was struggling financially during those days, but still, he bought her son a new bike the very next day. He and his mother were overjoyed from this act of kindness.

My father had hundreds of employees throughout the years. Every once in a while, he’d catch one of his employees stealing. When caught, they were brought into the office for a meeting, and a couple of them cried and begged him for forgiveness. He forgave all of them and usually gave them a second chance. They became his very best and most trustworthy employees.

He performed in the Drum & Bugle Corps as a young man. As an older man, he partnered with a ministry in town and helped to teach dozens of middle school and high school kids how to play. One early morning he received a call from one of the kids who had nowhere else to turn. He was in jail and needed help. My father woke up, drove his car a couple of hours to the other side of Illinois, bailed him out, and brought him back home.

My father truly believed in all the principles he wrote about in this column. He believed in people. He believed in love, peace, kindness, generosity, compassion, mercy, second chances, and the ability for anyone to change. No matter how low somebody sank, he believed they could turn it around and become a shining light in the darkness.

Perhaps that’s why his funeral had hundreds of people who came to give their condolences. He impacted the world around him in a positive way. He wanted the best for everyone. His actions will echo into eternity and confidently testify that he practiced what he preached.

Toby Moore is a freelance columnist, Actor who starred in the Emmy Nominated “A Separate

Peace”, and CEO of CubeStream inc.

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