Aaron Skogen en Bee Stories In English, Lifestyle, Writers Director of Operations, Consumer Division • The Toro Company 12/10/2016 · 1 min de lectura · +500

Without Direction

Without Direction

My head was buried in the engine compartment of my E46. My hands were scuffed, grubby and wet with coolant as I reassembled the cooling system. From behind me came a voice, “Is your son home”, he asked. Startled, I spun around, hitting my head on the hood latch as I turned to face him. He noticed that he had startled me, and immediately said, “I am so sorry I startled you. Is your head OK?” I chuckled, and told him I was fine, “nothing but a bump, no worries”.

After wiping my hands on a shop towel, we exchanged names and firm handshake. As it turns out, he was our new neighbor. He lives about 4 houses down, and I had not had the opportunity to meet him since he moved in.

He was an older gentleman with kind eyes, wearing blue jeans and nice button down. He came down to visit with a specific intent, to ask our son to help move in a new couch. He explained to me that in the past few months had he had both of his hips replaced, and was breaking-in a new knee as well. He looked great, spry and full of energy. Yet, he said, he could not lift more than forty pounds.

He went to explain that about a week ago my oldest had stopped. Our son was commuting on his bicycle between our home and his high school for marching band practice. He said, he and his son were moving some furniture when my oldest saw them struggling. As he put it “Aaron, your son squealed his tires to stop, hopped off his bike, and offered help”. In minutes the trailer was loaded with the furniture and my son was off to practice.

This left an impression. My Bride later told me that he had walked down and knocked on the door to say thank-you. He thanked my Bride for “raising a fine young man”.

The thing about teenagers is that sometimes as a parent you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing. Yet, when we hear something like this from another person, it hits home that maybe, just maybe, we are on the right track. Of course our son, never mentioned it to us. He said, it was just the “right thing to do” when we told him that our neighbor had stopped by.

We have coached our children to be kind, to give of their time and of their talent without an expectation of anything in return. Sometimes that coaching has resulted in the quintessential “teenage eye-roll”. Other times, the child, without direction, demonstrates that in fact, those lessons stick.


I am a senior operations professional employed by The Toro Company. The comments, opinions and views expressed herein are mine and do not represent those of my employer.

I write to share ideas and generate a conversation. Most often you will find me writing personal stories exploring the correlation between our personal and professional lives.

© 2016 Aaron Skogen

Aaron Skogen 13/10/2016 · #11

#10 I'm very happy you enjoyed the story Thomas. I think it comes down to modeling the behavior we expect. Nevertheless I hear you. I'm glad this resonated. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

Thomas Chanian 13/10/2016 · #10

Enjoyed your article. As a concerned father of two young daughters, I often wonder whether all our teachings of proper human values - kindness, empathy, being nonjudgmental, respecting others opinion, sharing own knowledge with friends, caring, etc. - do sink into their wondrous minds. Reading such articles are indeed reassuring that our effort does (eventually) produce positive result in there life.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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Aaron Skogen 12/10/2016 · #9

#6 It sure does @Laura Mikolaitis! That is a sad story. I think the toughest thing is not knowing if they get it or not. The other hard part, is that frequent feeling that you do not know what the H. E. Double Hocky-Sticks your doing as a parent. There is no guidebook, no manual, and each child is so unique. Each requires that they be coached as differently as the individuals they are. This parenting thing is nerve-wracking sometimes (especially the teenage years), so these little story's we hear from those the kids have touched in some way, are a little bit of reassurance we're not totally effing them up! :-)

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Aaron Skogen 12/10/2016 · #8

#5 It's the little things, right @Pascal Derrien! Thanks so much, I hope so too! I appreciate the share too!

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Aaron Skogen 12/10/2016 · #7

#4 Thank you @Laurent Boscherini! I am glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate your kind words and the share!

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Laura Mikolaitis 12/10/2016 · #6

Kindness definitely reigns @Aaron Skogen as is exemplified in this story about your son. I love that you shared this because too often we hear about the negativity that reigns, such as bullying, and other acts that make you shake your head and infuriate you. I recently read a post from one of my friends where she tells about seeing a group of teenage girls on one side of the road flipping off girls on the other side of the road. The girls being flipped off looked away ashamed. It made her question if this is what parenting is - watching other kids and worrying that's what yours will grow into. She said it was heartbreaking to think of it either way. All you can do is hope that you do your best and instill values, teach respect and some of may even be a wind and a prayer. So your story, Aaron, is a timely reminder that kindness exists. Thank you for sharing this.

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Pascal Derrien 12/10/2016 · #5

An everyday act of kindness, nice share that hopefully most will relate to :-) @Aaron Skogen

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Laurent Boscherini 12/10/2016 · #4

Thank you Aaron Skogen for sharing your insightful post, so beautifuly penned.

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