Staying Positive & Playful 

 Roberto has an amazing  sense of humor and always sees the positive in negative situations, especially when he is facing challenges or sickness.  For example, he wore a giant black wig during chemo and watched pretty fish in a giant fish tank. He said it made the experience more pleasant and took his mind off of the chemo.  He would rather think of fish than chemo.  The nurse offered him a wig because she said that they would take all of his hair, and they were giving some back to him.  This is just one example where Roberto focused on the humorous parts of the situation such as fish and wigs and turned a negative situation into a positive one.  

Photo courtesy of Roberto Molinary

Roberto in his wig during chemo.

Roberto says he never wants to lose his sense of humor.  He approaches a lot of difficult situations with humor.  He says it makes everything better.  Roberto has a great life attitude and outlook on the world because of his humor and general playfulness.  He always looks at life from a positive point of view and hopes for the best.  


Roberto says his “religion” is adaptable.  He just wants to put everyone at ease.  He will be whatever religion you want him to be or what he feels like.  He can chose his religion, and it does not have to be the same one every time.  He feels comfortable attending church with any of his children even though they have three different religions.  He is more focused on people and making them happy.  He does not want to impose his belief on anyone. 

Being a Bilingual

“I am a very proud Hispanic.” – Roberto Molinary

Roberto’s first language was Spanish, although now he says his primary language is English.  He believes that being bilingual has been very beneficial because of the two different languages and cultures.  Roberto is able to communicate with more people because he knows two languages.  He enjoys using his bilingualism to help people.  He acted as a translator for the military, and he was one of the only Hispanic leaders in the military in charge of directing and helping people in the military.  He was given extra responsibility and trust when he held this leadership role.  In the army in the 1970s, Roberto was selected for the Equal Opportunities Race Relations school in order to be an instructor and specialist in helping to create equalities in the military field.  For example, he made people more aware of race and equality issues.  Roberto did this for 8 years in the military.  Army officials came to Roberto when they were having difficulties and Roberto would explain the differences in cultures.  It was one of the best assignments that he ever had. 

Roberto also used his translating skills outside the military as well.  In college, he needed to take a second language class, so he took a Spanish class and helped the professor teach the rest of the class.  Roberto paid special attention to the people who were struggling in the class.  When he worked in Midlands Technical College in South Carolina, he worked as a Spanish interpreter as well.  It made him feel good.  Over lunch after church with church members, Roberto and his wife worked as Spanish interpreters for doctors and pharmacists in a small town in South Carolina.  Roberto loved being able to help other people who could not communicate in English.  He does not want to lose his bilingualism because it offers many benefits.  

Listen to the video below to hear more about Roberto’s bilingual experience in the military.

General Life Lessons
Roberto has some general life lessons for his family:
“I think people treat you as you treat them.” – Roberto Molinary
“Use your Spanish to help other people.” – Roberto Molinary

In addition to the advice above, another life lesson is about voting.  He believes that you should make your vote count.  We have a voice and we should use it.  It does not matter what your political beliefs are.  

Roberto believes that families should be close-kit because family is important.  Roberto believes that family unity is very important.  His family does everything together, even go on vacations as one giant family.  He always wants that to be the case.  He does not like to interfere much in his family members’ private lives, but he wants to help them in any way with things that they need.  

Family unity has always been important to Roberto: Click play to hear this in his own words.