Words from a Father

Husband of One, Father of Four

Tag: character

514. Honor Your Agreements

Don’t change the deal. Whatever you agreed to, honor it. This is one way you gain honor in the eyes of others.

513. Games and Attitude

If you start a game, finish it. Don’t forfeit. Don’t quit. Win or lose, see it through. Even though it’s only a game, keep your self-respect and see it through regardless of the outcome. How you play games is an indicator of your character; it’s a small thing, but it’s real. There are worse things than losing, like delaying the inevitable, having a bad attitude about it, or quitting when it’s clear you won’t win. Everyone loses now and then, and the same goes for winning. Your attitude makes the difference.

512. Human Interest Story

There’s a difference between a human interest story and a human vanity story. We have not enough of the former, but an overload of the latter.

509. Five Attributes of a Great Chef, from the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

“A great chef has five attributes.

1. They take their work very seriously, and consistently perform at the highest level.

2. They aspire to improve their skills.

3. Cleanliness: If the restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good.

4. Impatience: They are better leaders than collaborators.

5. A great chef is passionate.

Jiro has all five of these attributes. He’s a perfectionist.”

—From the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

508. Reputation

Don’t let short-term choices ruin your long-term reputation.

501. Hope Unequaled

Loss of hope is death, no matter how long after. Hope, in itself, is life to the dying and to the living. Hope has no equal in persuading the man, and hopelessness has no equal in his destruction. No passion or truth, no noble lie or self control, no plight for peace or responsibility for justice, nor rejection of oppression or embracing of obeisance are adequate and effective substitutes for hope.

Those hopeful are the strident calm. Those hopeful are the responsibly free. Those hopeful are the logically passionate. Those hopeful are truly alive. And if you are honest about those you admire, you will recognize that those who have hope owe it all to an eternal hope. Hope is either eternal or it is delusory.

478: Quote: John Wesley on Vice

“Vice does not lose its character by becoming fashionable.”

—John Wesley

476. Fight

We are prone to apathy. Fight it with all you can muster.

426. The Legacy of Overcoming

We are not wounded by the victories of character in our parents, but by how their character has failed.

That means, then, that a large portion of parenting is being able to overcome your own vices in such a way that you pass on your victories to your children rather than your failures.

408. Essay: One Shot

I only have one shot at raising you kids, only one chance to parent you. This time right now is never replayed — we can’t record it, rewind it, download it, or check out the source code of this time with you, and then change it in either my memory or yours. One shot and then it’s done.

I will father you for a little while and then you’ll go through a long transition where you begin to take real ownership of your decisions, become your own person, forge your own identity. That is when our relationship will change . . . you will decide to continue to be fathered by me or not. A lot of that will depend on how I have done until that point. It will depend on how I have stewarded our relationship thus far.

This transition will bring a new aspect into the parent–child relationship: friendship. You will move from being “just the kid” to being so much more. It will be friendship based on history and trust and lots more things I don’t understand. It’ll be a brand new era. But the decision you will someday make starts with the hour-by-hour interactions we have now, with the way I make you feel when you’re around me and how you feel when we’re apart.

I only get one shot at it. So my philosophy is that, at any given point, I want you to feel love. Whether I’m feeding you, teaching you something new, disciplining you, playing hide and seek with you, dancing, singing, talking, or running around the house with you, I want you to feel love.

I only get one shot, so I’ll take my chances with love.

%d bloggers like this: