14 Things My Father Taught Me
As I write this, I am so blessed to still have my father in my life. In fact, I saw him only a few weeks ago. My father, without realizing it, quietly demonstrated traits that I live by, raised our two sons with, and influenced my business model.
1. He taught me that a person’s financial status does not dictate behavior. Being respectful and polite doesn’t require money, education, or an exclusive address. It’s a choice and a matter of pride in oneself. Respect, courtesy, consideration, tact, humility, and humor is plentiful, easily replenished, and best of all, it’s free!
2. He taught me work ethic. He came from the old-school dad where he worked two jobs to get ahead. He believed that you must do your best at all times. Feeling tired or bored is not an excuse to just sit there, complain, or do less than. You arrive early and stay until the job is done. During my office days, when there was nothing to do, I would dust the office, clean out drawers; I could never just sit there, it felt wrong.
3. He taught me that there are consequences. You made the choice, honorably accept the consequence. As a mildly stubborn person, I will often ‘do it my way’, and with my head held high, I honorably accept the consequences.
4. He taught me that life isn’t fair. Don’t waste time trying to figure out or change a person’s mind—walk away with dignity and take another road. Instead of standing on my soapbox wasting my breath to “make someone” see it my way, I’ll live so that they see it; more convincing anyway.
5. He taught me what to expect from “a husband.” My dad always (and still does) opens the door for my mom, tells her she looks pretty, says, “please” and “thank you,” always ready to run to the store to pick up a forgotten item, and likes to dance. My husband does the same, even the dancing part.
6. He taught me that trust was essential among family. Whatever happened in our home, stayed in our home, creating a reassuring sense of security. This was one of the most important legacies that my parents provided. I guarded our family’s privacy, and still do. 2 W: rosalindarandall.com O: 650.871.6200 E: email@example.com I believe that children must have a place where they know they can freely speak and not be judged or have it shared. A family bond cannot grow without trust.
7. He taught me self-control. Self-expression and disagreeing was always allowed and welcomed, however, it had to be shared in a respectful tone. I never heard a curse word in our home. Yelling, a sarcastic tone, slamming a door, etc., was not allowed; from anyone in the family. It is possible, I continued this rule with our sons.
8. He taught me to be tactful. No matter how angry or frustrated you become, you don’t need speak in a disrespectful manner or call names. Which inspired my business motto, “You can say what you mean, without being mean.”
9. He taught me to love music. Singing and music were always on. I did the same in our home; more music, less television.
10. He taught me to be proud of my heritage, but more proud of this country that provided him with opportunities to better himself, allowing him to provide us with even better opportunities. Again, I am blessed with a husband who encouraged me to speak in Spanish to our sons, play mariachi music, and make ‘arroz con leche’.
11. He taught me humor and expression. I don’t know how he did it, but he performed in Spanish-speaking plays in downtown Los Angeles. He still enjoys joking around. It lead me to taking improv class…laughter is a part of my life today.
12. He taught me that you don’t need to drink to have a good time. Oh, we had all kinds of alcohol around the house, but no one, except company drank it. He seldom accepts an adult beverage, even today. Sorry, Papa, that one didn’t stick. I do enjoy an adultbeverage now and then.
13. He taught me how to forgive. I never remember my father rehashing or reviving a past infraction. He dealt with the situation at hand. I must admit that I can forgive, forgetting hasn’t always been possible. (Work in progress.)
14. He taught me to have courage to distance oneself from, or end potentially harmful relationships, even when it happened to be a family member. This took me some time to master because you hang on to hope; hope that “they will change.” Now I say, cut the cord and wish them well. (Even tougher than my dad.)
My father doesn’t realize how he impacted my life beyond providing the basic necessities; even when I tell him, he says, “No, mija, I just did what I was supposed to do.” Papa, you will live on through your grandsons. While this is a piece honoring fathers, it was difficult to write without mentioning my mother who also demonstrated all of the above, and continues to do so. What a great childhood! Gracias, Papa and Mama.
Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, a Social Skills and Civility Expert is known for her straightforward and common-sense approach; coupled with her realistic perspective facing today’s ever-changing relationship dilemmas, generational gaps, gender-neutrality, and cultural considerations. She is improving how America communicates through her presentations and her book, Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.
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