My father, Leo Rubis, passed away on May 22. He wasn’t big on speeches but spoke volumes to his family and friends by the way he lived. His legacy was that he gave us a road map for living with character, not perfection of course.
He did so by connecting three powerful attributes in his daily life. He was one of the most self accountable people I ever met. He never, as hard as life was, allowed himself to become a victim. He blamed no one for his status in life. When one job ended he got another. When cancer hit, he put one foot in front of the other and said thank you for the life he had. He defined respect by the way he treated everyone. To the day he died, he treated the nurses in the palliative care unit like they were the most important people on earth. But that was how he behaved everyday with everyone when he was well and the boss too. He was known as a gentleman. He was also generous well beyond his means. Things were often tight financially but he never focused on the lack of anything; he just focused on giving the most valuable thing he had …himself. He was always there for his children and grandchildren and others …driving somebody somewhere …slipping 20 dollars in someone’s pocket. When he could have been resting he was at one of the kids games …cheering all on and expecting performance. He just gave.
My father combined self accountability, respect and abundance into something I now call the Character Triangle. I should rename it Leo’s Triangle. The best thing is that his personification of these values demonstrated that an ordinary life by Hollywood standards, could be extraordinary and accessible to all.
I therefore elect my dad to the Character Hall of Fame – just an ordinary guy living in an extraordinary way.