1. Funerals are the easiest place to have the best intentions and still wound someone else.
My dad was a Mason and was often called upon to deliver words at funerals of fellow Masons. I figured he knew what he was talking about.
2. Watch the sunset and think of all the things it has seen in it’s journey today – your problems are probably not so bad, after all.
He was always good at putting things into perspective.
3. If you pay attention while you take something apart, you can usually get it fixed and put back together again.
This is why I’m rather bold with repair projects. I fixed my broken Barbie hair dryer when I was 6 or so and never looked back.
4. There is nothing new under the sun.
You may have a new interpretation, use or perspective, but it’s all been done before. Which leads us to the next one…
5. Knowing and understanding history helps you to avoid repeating past mistakes.
When I see the same games played out over the course of human events, I wish everyone had learned this from their Dad.
6. There are few things that are bad in and of themselves. Moderation in all things keeps you on the path of happiness.
I try to heed his advice whenever my life gets out of balance.
7. Some people never get the message unless it’s delivered by a baseball bat.
My father was not a violent man – but he also had experience with those who just weren’t willing to back off or back down until you made it very and not-so-nicely clear that they and their values were not welcome at your table. While I’ve never struck someone with a baseball bat, I do credit this term with giving me the courage to stand up to those I needed to.
8. God can be found in the beauty of the plains, the quiet of an evening breeze or the laughter of a child.
My dad was not religious, but deeply spiritual. My spiritual beliefs exist because he introduced me to the Magic that is everywhere.
9. Enjoying the journey is just as important as arriving at the destination.
Dad would linger over extra cups of tea in the morning before heading to work, or over beer with friends on his way home. He knew there were things to do, but he also knew how to stop and smell the roses.
10. Courage is not expressed only on battlefields or during crisis. Often, courage means getting up and doing what needs to be done, for one more day, even when you don’t feel like it.
My dad was born towards the end of the Great Depression – it was many years before the area he grew up in realized any sense of recovery. He had many a story of neighbors and families who chose to get up and do what needed to be done in the face of foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness and loss.