My late father was not a well-educated man, since he had to leave school during the Great Depression to assist his family.
But he had common sense and passed along to his children lessons to assist us throughout life. I am the man I am today because of the lessons learned from my father. Hopefully in turn I have passed along to my children lessons that will aid and assist them throughout their lives.
We were taught to pay attention to others. Listening and taking advice are qualities that always were useful to me. I gained knowledge by paying attention to what others had to say on subjects in which they were familiar. I learned from my parents and teachers by paying attention to them.
An important lesson was to think before I acted. If I would be sorry tomorrow for something I do today, I learned that I should not do the deed today. Life is filled with temptations and there is much pressure to do what is easy, not what is right.
My father advised me not to give into these temptations — to be ethical at all times, to honor my word, to be trustworthy, and to be a person who could be counted on in difficult situations.
I learned from my father not to burn bridges. We all have disagreements with others, but I was taught not to act emotionally or angrily. Be careful what you say, as it may come back to haunt you. Do not create enemies. I learned to disagree without being disagreeable.
Keeping my word and always being honest were good lessons learned. To have a good relationship with another, there must be trust. A good relationship depends on the ability of each side to believe what the other says. Do not lose credibility.
An important lesson was never to be afraid to seek advice and assistance. One can learn much from someone knowledgeable in a particular field. Successful individuals have mentors who assist them. Knowledge is a precious gem that should be sought. There is no disgrace in seeking help; the disgrace is in failing because help was not sought.
To all the fathers, thank you for passing along to the next generation fatherly advice, words of wisdom and lessons learned. Each generation is better because of life’s lessons that you have passed along. May your children come to appreciate the fatherly advice you have provided over the years.
I hope you had a very happy and well deserved Father’s Day!