I miss my dad. He passed away eight years ago. I’m glad all 10 of my children knew him, although the youngest ones were only five, six and seven when he died. My dad shared so many words of wisdom with me throughout my life. He was the type of person who would say just the right thing at just the right time. I often wonder if I’ve ever said anything to my kids that they will carry in their hearts throughout their lives as I do, the words of my father.
My dad was the epitome of the blue collar worker. He married at a young age, raised seven children and was always a champion of the underdog. He was a business agent for the Teamsters. I remember feeling so incredibly protected and safe when my dad was around. When he left this world, a great abyss, an endless void, instantly existed in his place. Thankfully, I cherish the many words of wisdom he imparted.
Be proud of who you are and where you come from
My dad was never impressed by money or fame. My mother would get a little frustrated whenever he would share certain words of wisdom. They are admittedly a bit off-color but helpful nonetheless. If we would ever go crazy over a celebrity, my dad would scold us. He particularly disliked when women or girls in an audience would shriek or cry over a rock music or film star. It’s what he would say that caused my mother to shake her head, though. I can picture it as though it were happening right this minute.
My dad would sit in his recliner and read the newspaper. The TV would be on as well. (TVs were pretty much on 24/7 in those days.) If something happened on television that frustrated my dad, he’d snap down the corner of his newspaper so he could see the TV screen. Then, he’d add loud commentary (which often included a few expletives) as though the people on TV could hear him. Regarding celebrities, he always had these words of wisdom: What the heck’s the big deal about so-and-so? Who cares if (he or she) is famous? Famous people aren’t anything special. They’re sh** stinks the same as everyone else’s.
More words of wisdom from my dad
I often turned to my dad for parenting advice. He had a way of adding a unique perspective to even the most trying circumstances. Words of wisdom that have been most helpful to me in my own parenting journey are these: Parenting is not about making decisions to keep your children happy. It’s about having the courage to make the decisions that don’t.
Parenting can be quite challenging, especially if a particular child is creating conflict or crisis. You might be one of many parents today who are dealing with some serious problems at home, such as a child on drugs or one who has gotten in trouble with the law. When a child is causing problems, it can drag a parent down. He or she sucks the energy right out of you.
In situations like this, my dad would always say that a shepherd must let a diseased sheep go, lest it infect the entire flock. I used to think such words were harsh, but the older and more experienced I became as a parent, the more clearly I understood these words of wisdom. Don’t let one person drag the whole family down. This doesn’t mean you don’t care about the one with the problem, only that you will not let it define you or keep you and the rest of your family from living a joyful life.
The louder they are, the more inferior they feel
Have you ever encountered someone in life who is a real loud-mouth? You know the type of person I’m referring to, right? Some people love to spout off. They’re always yelling, insulting people, threatening people or acting obnoxious. My father always taught us kids that the loudest, most confrontational people are the ones who suffer most from low self-esteem. He said they try to be as loud as they can to make themselves appear larger and more important than they feel inside.
Do you know someone who is loud and always trying to bully others? It might mean that he or she feels inferior and is trying to hide his or her self-loathing by appearing over-confident.
What words of wisdom have been passed down to you?
Did you have a parent, grand-parent, teacher or neighbor who offered words of wisdom that have stuck with you all your life? Do you have a favorite inspirational quote that comes in handy when times are tough? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!