Life lessons from my dad

Because it’s Father’s Day, today’s post honors my dad and some of the lessons he taught me. I think they’re worth sharing.

  1. Never ask someone to do something for you that you aren’t willing to do yourself. (Remember, capable and willing are not the same.) If you’re asking because you’re trying to pass it off or somehow avoid something unpleasant, nix the idea now. You’ll destroy your credibility and start earning a reputation for taking advantage of people.
  2. If you invite someone to a restaurant, make sure you can afford everything on the menu. I remember looking at the menu in Club O when I was a kid and asking my dad if it was okay to order something particular. (I have no idea anymore what it was.) That’s when he gave me the speech. Essentially, he said that if a person couldn’t afford it, he should go to another restaurant. He shouldn’t invite someone and then restrict her choices. Good stuff–I can think of so many ways to apply that.
  3. Never write an anonymous letter. If it’s not worth putting your name on it, it’s not worth sending. Stand behind your opinions; anything less is cowardly. Enough said.
  4. Don’t lie. Admit your infractions and don’t try to cover them up with falsehoods. When the truth comes out–and it will come out–the lie will just add insult to injury to the person at the receiving end. That’s when the real trouble will start.
  5. Don’t let someone win. Play fair and make her earn it. The eventual victory will be that much sweeter, and everyone will learn a lot in the process. That’s how people grow.
  6. Be there for the people who are important to you. People may not remember what you said, but they will remember that you were there when it counted.

Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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