Monday, August 4, 2014

Things my Father told me

A loving father hopes to inform his child's thinking, not replace it.

Today's rule about fingers on the stove eventually needs to carry the 'why' and 'what else' for future use in similar circumstances.  We want our kids to understand and make good decisions of their own.

My Father offered good insight on many issues; he explained them well and demonstrated them all.

You can have everything you want, or you can enjoy what you have, but not both.
  • The things we have are a means but not an end in themselves.  
  • This one took awhile.

Helping someone else is more satisfying than helping yourself, especially if it costs you a lot.
  • It makes no sense at all, but he's right.
  • Nobody believes this one until a ways down the road.

If you care about others, you won't be happy all the time; you'll spend time sharing their load. 
  • There's a high price for caring.
  • It can take all the years you've got.

Things my Father
told me; enough to
fill a book!

The fact that my Father loved me didn't preclude hardship.  He knew I'd have my share, and he walked through it with me.  I learned a lot along the way.  A lot.

I've cringed when a religiously styled speaker, presuming to speak on behalf of my Father, would tell us things using the magic phrase,  'the Word of God'.  Lots of King James-ish phrasing and stylistic emphasis, but not much useful information.  The religious power-speak seems shaped to narrowly enforce rather than inform, and it doesn't help.

Just things you want your kids to know ...

Some distance down the road, I realised that most things my Father told me were to equip me for a purposeful, meaningful life.  He wanted me to know and understand.  It turns out, he's more a practical realist than I expected, and not particularly religious.