I have a confession. You know the commandment to honor thy mother and father? Well when I was growing up I probably only gave that one 50%. I honored my mother and gave my father fits. Of course as a child I didn’t think I was being disrespectful. No, no, it was quite the contrary. I was being disrespected! Right! … uhmmm … right?
Wrong! As I get older I realize that my father deserved the same respect and reverence I gave to my mother. As an adult I may not have agreed with my father on a lot of issues, but at the end of the day he is my father. He loves in the way that he knows how and who am I to pass judgment anyway? He has worked hard so that we could all have a good upbringing, so that my siblings and I could go to a decent school and so that we would grow up to be productive members of society.
As a teenager I thought of myself as a grown adult but as an adult I now realize that I was a baby in a man’s body. Life teaches us so much and if we listen we gain wisdom. But if we’re honest, at some point we’ll realize that most wisdom … maybe all wisdom … is not gained but simply realized over time. What I mean to say is that in a situation where there is a loving, caring, giving and disciplined family environment wisdom is passed down from generation to generation.
The revelations that many of us come to realize later in life are nothing more than things our parents attempted to teach us over and over again. So these days I find myself living the cliché; the older I get the smarter my parents are.
So suffice to say that I love my mother and listened to most of what she had to say. I took to heart that I should open a door for a lady and that I should show respect to the elderly. I even took her advice on learning to type because the age was coming where everyone would need that special skill. But when it came to my father I questioned everything.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that even though I questioned my father while growing up, today I use a lot of what he taught me. This revelation hit me while being interviewed by FOX Cable News for a news story about professionals reinventing themselves to survive a recession. At one point the interviewer said; “ You quote your father a lot…” BAM! It hit me like a ton of bricks. That man, my father, the man I questioned all those years, had filled me full of wisdom anyway! He had given me little clichés that I could use as guide through life and business.
So in an effort to show my father the respect that I so selfishly withheld as a child, I dedicate this book to the man who so tirelessly mentored me and who gave me these mini-mantras to live by. Here’s to you dad. I hope you keep the encouragement coming. I know it is a thankless job keeping your ‘#2’ son on the straight and narrow but thanks for never giving up.