Nobody Said I Couldn’t

Digby Banting pilot

My Dad, the handsome pilot on the right with a mustache. 

It’s Father’s Day today (congrats to all the dads out there). My own dad left this plain over 20 years ago but his indomitable spirit rages on. He knew no fear and was confident even in situations where others would say he had no business being so sure of himself. Like that time he was just out of high school and walked into a Ford dealership asking for a job on a dare. During the Depression. With no sales experience. When the manager told him to beat it, Dad told him that was a shame as the Chevy dealer down the road had offered him XX salary so he’d be on his way. Dad got the job and won the bet.

The time he was the leader of an orchestra on the radio. And he didn’t know how to read music or play an instrument.

The time he ran for office and became the Reeve of Saltfleet Township in the 1940’s. Without any prior political experience. Then ran for federal politics as a Conservative in a riding that was heavily Liberal (he lost but not by much).

The time he produced one of the largest free festivals in Canada, which ran for two decades under his watch. Despite not having done event production at the outset.

Not to say my father was fool hardy, not by a long shot. He wasn’t reckless or irresponsible. Rather, he was someone who didn’t let lack of experience hold him back . If it was something that he felt he had the capacity to take on and excel at, he would approach it with all guns blazing. Learn all he could, listen to others and distill the knowledge into making a potent elixir of results.

He wasn’t afraid of long hours or mindless tasks (how many hours did I see him bent over a table, scratching away at transfer pages, laying out an ad for the newspaper back in the 70’s before the advent Photoshop). He wasn’t afraid of living life to the fullest, loving his family with all his heart and giving a helping hand to those who needed it. And he wasn’t afraid to serve his country as a pilot in WWII.

Whenever I’d ask my father how he could take on all these challenges, his answer to me was:

“Nobody told me I couldn’t do it. “

Those words became my motto, my rallying cry and have sustained me throughout my merry-go-round of a life (music! color! excitement! plenty of ups and downs!). Having the faith in yourself to take on any challenge and to go all in is the ultimate in fear-less living.

My father never let Fear get in the way of a brilliant adventure so why should I or anyone else? Thanks, Dad, for showing me how to Fear-less and live so much more.



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