Growing up under my father's influence was fairly difficult at times. He's a hard man who can be impossible to please. He's an angry man who is easy to ignite. I'm not saying it was an unmitigated horror. It wasn't. It was just painful. I can't engage in some sentimental remembrance of tender times with him but I can think back over the lessons that have come from being his daughter. Some came from happy experiences, others didn't. As you read this, please do not read any of it with a tone of sarcasm. Although I can be prone to that, this is not one of those times. I just think any difficulty has its lessons and I don't want to waste the lesson, lest I have to repeat it.
From Dad I learned...
- Riding a motorcycle is a great joy in life.
- The best way to enjoy a thunderstorm is on the back porch with your dog next to you as you watch the lightning dance over a field.
- When you are 4, if you can sit on Daddy's shoulders the big waves in the ocean are not so scary.
- It is important to be precise in communication.
- It is important to be able to defend your ideas.
- Don't accept authority blindly.
- Some people will never be pleased with any effort you make so your effort should not be for their sake.
- Love is not always forever, sometimes people change their minds.
- Some people are givers, others are takers.
- Avoid angry people.
- Never let them see you sweat.
- Some people will not honor that which is honorable.
- Don't ask a question unless you are prepared to hear the worst possible answer.
- If you don't deal with your own wounds you're only going to wound other people.
- The pain you inflict ripples out farther than you care to see.
- Some bullies back down when you screw up the courage to confront them.
- Sometimes when you've long since given up waiting for a person to apologize, in a surprising moment, an acknowledgment of wrongdoing comes very quietly.