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As we grow up we are often embarrassed by our parents, especially during our adolescent years, but only if we knew it was not the end of the world. To be seen to be reliant on the older human (mainly parent) was taboo in my neighbourhood. Defiance and nonconformity were the bee’s knees, closely followed by a premature false sense of self-sufficiency.
A lot of it was fuelled by peer pressure, of course, and that thing about being the coolest kid on the planet. When you showed off, there was always a bunch of girls around egging you on to be extremely foolish. Our parents were the last people we thought could understand us and so we turned to friends for advice. That usually ended in tears, a belt, a slap and then we’d go back to the same friends who put us in that position in the first place.
All of this came to me as I sat looking at my son, thinking is he going to be like me or not. I started thinking about my father – am like him or not? How he used to be very vocal after he’d had a few – ok maybe I’m like him, just a little. I would call it ranting and just pure drunken rubbish until I reached my mid- twenties. We tend to undermine our parents in our teenage years thinking they cannot possibly understand what we’re going through. The fact that they were once teenagers should be proof they’re more than qualified enough to advise teenagers. All this seems to be drastically ignored. As I got older I realised I’ve actually been living by my father’s sayings. This has helped me in difficult and highly emotional situations. It has toughened me up. It has made me look at the world in a broader and open minded way. Needless to say, my father is a legend and had his own unique way of teaching us the basic fundamentals of life. Highly appreciated.
I used to think he was just being funny until I was mature enough to understand what he meant. I believe a lot of people will resonate with my father’s sayings and I have taken some time to share a few of them with you. Maybe he read, heard, saw it somewhere or came up with all of it – all the same – it’s something really worth looking at.
What Will The Neighbours Say Syndrome
I guess you can already deduce what this little gem is all about. Most people know this already and have been living in accordance with their own thinking, creativity, visions and imagination. But some people are caught up in the loop of trying to please everyone or putting on a show for their neighbours. They’re always concerned about what the next person is going to say about them. It limits their ability to live to their fullest potential. This type of existence or mentality hinders progress and you’ll always be discontent, thus leading to unhappiness and bitterness.
Always do what pleases you as long as it’s humanly and within the legal boundaries because other people are living their lives too. Be yourself and contribute positively to community/society by helping and working with others.
Always Use Different Routes When Going To and From The Shops
I once said to him, “There is no need for me to use different routes because the shortest way is the best and I need to get back quick.” And he asked, “What if someone is waiting around the corner to kidnap or kill you?” I was bamboozled. He never explained what he actually meant and I thought to myself what a crazy old man. I failed to see the connection at the time and how deep that was. If people know your every move you’ll soon become redundant or irrelevant, keep them wanting more but making sure they don’t get fed up of you.
Never be predictable – that’s boring. Always try to leave people guessing your next move. Be spontaneous and use different routes when you can. Who knows there might be different opportunities in the different paths you take. Keeping on the same path in life even when it’s detrimental to your health, relationships and or finances is surely the death of you. Be creative, diverse and flexible – don’t be rigid like the school system.
View The World The Same Way You View And Read A Newspaper
It baffles me, in spite of the technology, some people are quite ignorant and only evolve around their own little worlds. Narrow mindedness can lead you into a life of victimhood. The point being that when you hold up a newspaper you don’t hold it too close to your face otherwise you won’t be able to read it properly, you might just see one or two words. But if you hold it at a distance then you can see both pages of the paper clearly from top to bottom – left to right. It makes it easier for you to skim read and skip through the stuff that don’t interest you.
Have a broader view of the world instead of just your immediate surroundings. Travelling is the cure for ignorance. Meet and interact with different people from different countries other than your own circle of friends or relatives. These activities create new neural pathways in your brain and increase creativity and other vital skills needed to lead a fulfilling life.
Never Be Laughed At By Those You Laugh At
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone laughing at other people, this is just a metaphor. Of all the sayings, it’s my favourite and I think the funniest because there are different variations of it. Don’t be pooed on by those you pooh on – is another version of it. Basically there are people who know it all and are full of themselves, don’t ever stoop down to their level. Always try to be the bigger man and strive to be the best version of yourself daily. Maintain your dignity and make sure that people don’t take your kindness for weakness. Mark Twain said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
What I’ve gathered from all his teachings is to always keep an open mind. No one knows everything and be willing to learn something new all the time. Once you get to the top, be humble but at the same time do not let people walk all over you. Live life to the fullest and explore all the different opportunities out there because life is too short. Always be yourself and true to yourself. I thank you Dad for playing an important and enormous part in shaping me to be the man I am today.
I guess you might have your own interpretations but this is what I gathered. I haven’t had the chance to ask my dad directly but I know one day he’ll tell me exactly what he meant, in his own words.