My father has taught me many things. Sometimes he meant to teach the things I learned from him, but many lessons have been learned indirectly.
Many lessons were learned well after the fact.
- Even if you know your kid’s pets aren’t coming back, you can win points by driving around with them and shouting “Bruno! Bruuuunooooo!” out the window
- No matter how brilliant you are, your kids might still want mom’s opinion on everything
- Do not agree to run around the house naked in the snow to get your kids to eat foods they don’t like. They will find a way to gag anything down to humiliate you
- Winning an ugly foot contest is an honorable achievement
- Being strong is useful
- Working smarter can be better than working harder. Doing both at the same time can be invaluable
- Generosity is important
- People that will care for their possessions won’t give their bodies and health a second thought
- Education matters
- The most valuable education does not come from a classroom
- Not needing to have the last word can be an asset
- Admitting your mistakes is a sign of growth, not a sign of weakness
- Wearing boots does not make you a cowboy
- “Cities have rhythms. You have to listen to the rhythms. Your mom doesn’t know this.” (this was said just before losing a bet to my mom in which she arrived at our mutual destination 9 minutes earlier than us simply by selecting another, non-rhythmic route)
- There is no addiction that can’t be overcome
- People can change
- It is easier to change our actions than our thoughts
- Better actions may be the only way to think better thoughts and change our minds
- There are people who do not hear sarcasm. Do not assume that they know you are joking
- If you need everyone to like you then you could be more self-confident
- An identity based solely on what we are worth to another person is not an identity worth having
- Blaming customer service workers for larger problems is not superior behavior
- Don’t pay people if they don’t do the job well
- Fire the liars
- Anyone can be petty, no matter the salary, the age, or the position
- Anonymous criticism cannot be taken seriously unless you want to go crazy
- Not all problems can be solved by working harder
- We are all doing the best we can with what we have
- Choosing the right partner can make all the difference
- Your family is everything–protect, serve, and ensure that they have what they need
I could go on for a while, but then I might start venturing into lessons that he might not think are as funny as I do, like the time my mom caught him saying “Not only am I beautiful, but I sing like a bird” into the bathroom mirror.
I love you, Dad.
PS: Readers/fathers, if you want to help build the list, please feel free to add any lessons your fathers taught you, or lessons you have taught your own children.