On my way to work this morning I heard the hosts of the Preston & Steve show (obviously, Preston and Steve) discussing various axioms their fathers had passed down to them. Other callers joined the conversation, sharing their fathers’ wisdom, and I found myself thinking about things I might be able to share.
Growing up, I was one of those kids who had two dads. A father and a step-father. They shared their own bits of wisdom with me throughout the years, in their vastly different ways, and two lines immediately come to mind.
“Always wait for your change.”
I don’t do this much anymore–at least, not literally–since times have moved on from paper and coin currency. These days I pay with plastic and electrons, but on the rare occasion I do carry cash, I always wait for my change when I expect it. It’s a matter of praticality, I guess. Always wait for what’s due. If you’re owed something, you stand firm. Don’t walk away from it. I’m probably reading too much into it–knowing my step-father, he probably meant it at face value–but in reflection I think what I took from the line was infinitely more valuable than a few spare coins.
“If I concerned myself with what others think, I’d never get anything done.”
My father told me this once, and I’ve never forgotten it. I don’t remember the conversation that led to this rare revelation from an otherwise mostly stoic man, but I do remember that I was a teenager at the time, just young enough to believe that my actions should be dictated by others while questioning why that should be. In the years that followed, I’d embody that line moreso than the old man intended, but now, looking back, I don’t think I would’ve turned out to be the same person if I hadn’t. I probably wouldn’t have stuck with writing as my medium of choice. I probably wouldn’t have written that first novel. And I probably wouldn’t have taken the indie route.
I guess if there’s a point to this off-topic post, it’s to share these quotes from two men who helped shape me who I am. Without them, I wouldn’t have taken the steps necessary to get here, haters be damned, and I wouldn’t be sticking around to get what I’m due.
What about the rest of you? Care to share any bits of wisdom passed down from your fathers?