In some way, I always wanted to be my father. Perhaps that is how I ended up in science, in the end.
My father on a collecting trip sometime before I was born.
My father when he was the beloved and quirky acting dean of Harvard College (it took me a long time to acknowlege to colleagues and mentors that my college was a successful academic. I was afraid they would either think I was trying to drop names or that they would assume that I was driven by a deep seated psychological need to prove I was better than him.)
I wrote the sentence, "If my father has a competitive side, I never saw it."
As soon as it was on paper, I knew it was false. My father, who always won every game, every argument. Of course he has a competitive side, I just never saw it get nasty. Then again, in my memory, he's always been at the top. He's always had the luxury of being in power. So what I'm saying is, I've never seen him abuse his power. That should not be something that is particularly noteworthy, but perhaps it is noteworthy that it is.
Thoughts inspired by the discussion of competition among PhD research students here: we need to talk about competition