I know I'm not the only one that cringes scrolling through at all the "My father is my hero" posts on facebook. I see them and I just don't get it. I've been trying to spin things I perceive as bad into something good this year, so I brainstormed on the things I really did learn from my dad. This way, I can start to appreciate his personality for what it is, knowing it likely won't ever change. Here's what I came up with....
1) The importance of love - I can honestly say, he formed my desire to love. I decided at a fairly young age, I didn't want anyone, anywhere, ever to feel the lack of love that I did. I know I have more, closer friends because of my desire to help people feel loved. He taught me that being concerned of another's feelings and well-being when it positively impacts only you, doesn't get you very far where relationships are concerned.
2) Money doesn't buy happiness - My family holds money over people's heads, and uses it to conditionally love one another. They think the more money they throw at you, the more you will feel loved. I have been shunned more than once for showing an act of kindness, instead of buying lavish presents. I wish they knew what they're missing.
3) Children have thier own brains - I was told what to feel, think, like, dislike. I was told what I'd do, and where I'd go, and how I'd like it. I'm in my mid 30's, and still wonder sometimes how I feel or what I like because no one is dictating it. Yes, kids are smaller. It's easy to shun what they think and feel. Whether we like it or not, let's hear them. Acknowledge what they say they need. Pay attention. If we can't make their voice matter, we can let them think their voice matters. That power will carry them.
4) Family time - When we spend quality time together, our kids have more opportunities to voice that valued opinion, and we will appreciate it so much more. It'll be genuine, and perfect. Not forced, tense, or lies.
5) Forcing people to do what you want makes them fake - If you make people do what you want, and it's not genuine, it doesn't mean anything. It also turns them into dishonest people. They'll feel bad doing what you want, and resent you like crazy.
6) Sometimes, the people you want to be right, are wrong - That moment you realize the person you've been listening to all your life, that's told you what to do, how to think, and what you want, is wrong. That a higher power trumps what used to be the God of your world. And trumps him in a big way. Of course, I would love my family to be who I go to for love and support. I want them to be "right". It would make my world easier. But, sometimes, trusting in our Heavenly Father and know His teachings are more important will bring greater blessings.
Loving one another, valuing others thoughts and feelings, quality time with those I care about...complete opposite of what my father taught me. But, I am thankful for my sensitivity to those things. I'm grateful I look for what those around me need, and try my best to help them gain it. Growing up in his home taught me to look for those things, because I yearned for them all so greatly. Knowing I can give a piece of it to others is, just simply, the best.