Tomorrow, June 19, is Father’s Day 2011 — there will likely be silly Hallmark cards handed out, and ties gifted galore. Someone might fire up a barbeque and another might drag his golf clubs out of storage.
Hopefully, it will be a good and satisfying day for many.
As you move into June 19 and get into the 2011 Father’s Day spirit, try a little exercise, if you are so inclined. After giving the card, handing over the gift, or placing that long distance call, find a quiet spot and try to remember just one nugget of great advice you received from dear ol’ dad.
I know there are probably many, but just try to think of one.
Years ago, when I was a teenager trying to find my way in the world (do we ever stop?), I sat with my dad and told him all the dreams in my head. I was concerned because they didn’t always line up with the dreams of others. I felt like I was walking a different path — not better or worse than anyone else, just different. And sometimes it was uncomfortable. I wanted to study different things and go in a different direction than many of my contemporaries. It didn’t always bother me, but on this particular occasion, I was a little confused and a little down.
Dad told me, “Sometimes you may be the only person marching with the sign, but march anyway.”
We talked about that idea. He explained to me that at certain points in life, we come to occasions where we might have to make a decision that isn’t popular or take a road that no one else wants to take. We may be protesting an unjust law, taking a less-popular course of study, holding a difficult opinion, or pursuing a path upon which few others trod — but that we must go forth nonetheless.
It’s a simple piece of advice that has been packaged many different ways over the years. Nike gave us “Just Do It” and we often hear of the “black sheep” or “marching to a different drummer.”
But the point of this post isn’t necessarily just the advice (although it has brought me tremendous strength over the years). It’s more about when and how the advice came to me. It was brought to me at a time in life when I desperately needed to hear it, by the man from whom it needed to come. He has led his own life hearkening to his own advice, and this clarion bell never rang hollow, and has always stood true, even as I march on today.
This Father’s Day 2011, I’m going to give thanks to a man who helped to raise me and helps support me. And, I’m going to appreciate the advice he gave me over the years — advice he may forget he spoke, but that neither of us forgot to live.
What advice did you receive from a parent or guardian, mentor or teacher? You see, Father’s Day isn’t just about “Dad.” It can be about any advice or support a male role model gave you. In the end, a coin is legal tender no matter the hand from which it came.
This Father’s Day 2011, spend some past wisdom wisely. And, spend a few seconds thanking the person who passed it on to you…even if you’re the only one you know who does it.