Father’s Day 2021: Hey Dad! Thanks For Teaching Me…

Father’s Day 2021 might be a good time to tell your dad, “Thanks.”

Especially if you are a young Emerging Man.

My dad had, a half dozen or so, WWII books around the house when I was growing up. The story goes he dropped out of school at an early age, and he couldn’t read the best.

When he met, and married my mom, the rest of the story goes, she helped him to finish off learning how to read.

For awhile he really enjoyed it, and had his WWII, and John F. Kennedy books, on our book shelf.

Funny thing is… I never saw him read any of them.

I loved reading at an early age, and was ENCOURAGED, by my mom, to read as much as I wanted to.

What I learned from my dad was…

Well, before that, here are some quotes from a few authors, that I have on hand in my own library, concerning fathers and sons.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: “From the reputation and remembrance of my father, [ I learned ] modesty and a manly character.”

King Solomon, Proverbs 3: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.”

My youngest son and I have been having talks, as he gets ready to head out into the world.

He feels he may not “be ready,” if ever faced with a physical attack of some sort.

So we’ve been talking about what I taught him as he grew up.

One: Don’t position yourself in a spot to become entangled in a physical altercation. Like Mr. Miagi said, “Best defense… don’t be there.”

Two: If it is a true, inescapable, altercation… Like my dad taught me, “Swing first! It might be the only one you get.”

My dad and I didn’t spend a lot of time together.

But… the one thing, of a handful of things, that he taught me was… “If you get stuck in a spot where a fight is inevitable, swing first! It may be the only one you get.”

As my son and I talked, he asked about my personal fight history. We counted up a half dozen altercations I was in.

And as I remembered, I was struck by the fact… that I was never… struck… with a punch, to the face.

And in each case… I swung first.

There was one time I got a cut over one eye, but I was drunk, doing a stupid, “Take your best shot,” routine, and not swinging back.

Good thing my adversaries and myself… didn’t really know how to fight, somebody coulda’ got hurt!

But in my case, my dads advice worked out.

And it panned out later in life, just being able to stand the heat, I was able to hold my ground in business meetings, stand in the gap between two at-risk teenage boys about to go at it, and staying calm in the face of profanity spewing co-workers creating a hostile work environment.

Who knew?

If you grew up with your dad in your life, take a minute this weekend to think about some of the things you know he taught you.

Call him up, or go see him… and tell him something specific your glad he taught you.


You won’t regret it.

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