Father’s day won’t be Father’s day without a trip down memory lane. In addition to sharing stories about his lawn tennis conquests and disco jockeying days, my dad had a somewhat peculiar habit when we were younger. Whenever we did something that he thought was a little extreme (good or bad), he would go to great lengths to share what he called “words of wisdom” with us.
Quite frankly, they sounded more like pure comedy provided you were not the person he was talking to. If you know where I’m headed with this, please go to the Facebook page and leave a comment…we need to talk! If you have never experienced this phenomenon, please read on for a few of these nuggets from my dad
“Think, then Act”
He typically used this phrase following activities such as: one of us backing up his car into the fence, using the leather seat of the exercise bicycle to check whether a pair of scissors was still sharp, or ironing Milo cocoa powder to try to turn it into a chocolate bar.
“Never be Penniless”
To demonstrate how committed he was to this idea, my dad had a handmade mini poster in his office with “NBP—Never Be Penniless” boldly imprinted on it. You were guaranteed two things if you had the good fortune of walking into his office:
One: You would enjoy a nice “fast food” meal (a.k.a mama put) with coke and boiled groundnuts
Two: You would learn about creating a personal “Never be Penniless” account for the 108th time
“Don’t use Force. Technique. Technique”
Yes, that’s exactly how he would phrase it. These words became an anthem in our household if someone was caught hitting the TV to make the picture clearer or trying to use a fork to unlock a padlock, for example. If you’re having trouble visualizing what it would feel like to hear these words in the midst of crazed frustration, share this quote with your best friend and have them test it out on you when your car refuses to start, someone just ate your lunch, or your child is screaming in the middle of the mall.
I could probably fill a book with some of the things my dad was capable of saying but I’m sharing these three for a very specific reason.
What This Means for YOU
Simplistic as these tips appear, they carry such a depth of wisdom that many of us miss or ignore. For example, how many times a day do you come across drivers, young girls, married men, and co-workers that would greatly benefit from a controlled, baritone “Think, then Act”? and how many marriages would still be intact if only both husband and wife could agree to “Never be Penniless”?
The point is, in the quest for heightened pleasure, bigger things, deeper knowledge, and greater accomplishments, let’s not forget the simple common sense truths of life. As we interact and go through our days on earth, we should all be striving to think before we act, never be penniless, and choose technique over force.