People need a teacher, to study ourselves, for it is impossible to learn about ourselves. But what is a teacher? Is it always a noun or can it be a verb? Is it a person? Is it an event, tragic or enlightening? A higher being or a great ordeal? I am going to start with what I believe to be the first great teacher. On the occasion of my son’s 26th birthday, here is some wisdom I would like to share with him and anyone else. These are things that I learned from my foremost teacher, my Dad, which I did not even realize at the time deeply were soaking and embedding into my psyche.
· Sometimes things are just shitty and you have to deal with it. I probably would have learned this without my Dad, but it sure helped me to prepare for those times. Also, you don’t have to spread that crap to other people to make yourself feel better. Again, deal with it.
· You can find peace and quiet in nature if you run to it with that purpose.
· It doesn’t have to be brand new to make you happy, like the commercials try to convince you of. New can be relative. In fact, if you play hard and break things like Dad and I did, it felt less painful when it happened. Which leads to my next point.
· Learn to fix things. Fix them to save money, get out of jam, use as an opportunity to obtain more tools, impress the lady in your life with your skills or just to learn how things work. After all if it is broke and you can't fix it what have you lost?
· Have fun with people and tell little flavorful lies to spice up a fishing story or any other tale that needs a little “color” to make it more interesting. It is best to not have pictures or videos of these stories as photographic evidence just ruins them. As you once said to me, you were “very suspicious” of my stories. The wisdom of an eight year old.
· Admit you are wrong when you are wrong and if it helps to be a bit wrong even when you are right, be wrong. Consider the situation carefully, like one with your spouse. It makes a huge difference long-term.
· Don’t only have friends your own age. Learn from older men what they have to offer you in terms of history. Have younger friends so you can be reminded of the fact that you were once younger as well. It is incredible how differences in just a few years and a few life changes can make in perspective.
I know you really tried hard to not listen to “Your Old Man” and that was perfectly fine by me. I tried not to listen to my Dad as well. I knew you heard despite you best efforts to not listen. But you will remember my words down the road when you least expect it, like I do now. And Daily. I hope mine will ring a tune that you will remember with fondness.