“If I can summon the courage to live under that standard, they won’t be able to catch me… Even better.”
At the recent Oklahoma Bankers Association Annual Conference our keynote speaker was Frank Abagnale of “Catch Me If You Can” fame. Most of his incredible story from the book and movie were confirmed. Some important details were amended to reflect factual events.
Frank’s story would be a James Bond, Star Wars, or Peter Pan saga if not true. How a boy traveled over one million air miles illegally from age sixteen to eighteen, performed duties as a doctor, and passed the Louisiana bar with two weeks study after dropping out of high school is a tale for the ages.
His story was fascinating. His message separated him from almost every speaker I have heard. Frank has refused pardons from three presidents. He did what he described as horrible crimes and wants the record to remain as a reminder to him and others that Integrity and Honesty should guide our paths.
The harm caused by Selfishness hurts others as well as oneself. Serving four years in the very French cell depicted in the movie dropped his weight from 190 pounds to 109 pounds. It almost killed him. He was also incarcerated in Sweden. During that dark chapter Frank learned what it is to be a man.
Frank and his wife raised three sons in Tulsa, OK. Over those twenty-five years, none of his friends and neighbors knew of his past. He confesses his wife saved him from the darkness. He holds God and Country as the highest ideals.
Frank firmly contends every boy needs a father and mother who regularly kiss him and tell him they love him.
His career of forty-three years with the FBI continues. He warned us about cyber attacks in a way that shook everyone in the room.
I will not forget Frank Abagnale’s gentle manner, his commitment to his art of fraud prevention, and his mindful message: living with Integrity and Honesty, the harmful effects of Selfishness (including living without a father that daily demonstrates his love for you), and the personal security of God and Country.
If I can summon the courage to live under that standard, they won’t be able to catch me… Even better.
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