A few years back I absolutely refused to join the facebook craze. These days I have to remind myself not to stay on too long because I can literally waste hours looking at what fun other people are having.=) If you have facebook, you know exactly what I mean. “Now what sparked this change of heart?” you might wonder.
My addiction to facebook all started when I joined facebook as a Father’s Day gift for my dad. I’m sure you’re wondering why in the world I would give such a strange gift to him. Surely he didn’t ask for it nor do I think he expected it. The truth of it all was that my dad had facebook BEFORE I did and that just didn’t make sense to me. There was no way that my dad who was in 60’s had joined this “silly” young craze before I did. And there was no way he was going to continue having a facebook profile without me having one too. From my dad, I’ve learned to explore new things. Tomorrow, June 10th, happens to be my dad’s birthday and so for today’s post, I decided to write about what I have learned from him. In addition to this facebook lesson to try new things, there’s so much more I’ve learned from him.
1. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Not only has my dad beat me in joining facebook, but this past year he also got a Twitter account before I did. Maybe I’ll join SecondLife…
2. Do what you need to do. And take care of yourself. For as long as I’ve known, my dad has always jump-roped every night. Personally, I don’t know anyone else’s dad who does that. Do you? Just like my grandpa, my dad has always been extremely disciplined in his exercise regimen. I’ve learned that it’s important to be healthy and to be disciplined in taking care of yourself. So even to this day, nothing gets in the way of Dad’s BBC News and jumproping.
3. Spend your life doing something meaningful. The best way to teach is truly through example and that’s how Dad has ingrained this lesson in me. While I didn’t understand it before, I really respect my dad because he is a man who truly walks the walk. With a PhD in Engineering and a good salary from the EPA, my dad walked away from the cush life over 15 years ago and went into full time ministry to serve as a pastor at our church. From an example like his, I’ve learned that being comfortable is nice, but doing something meaningful with your life is even better. My dad’s also taught me that when you do meaningful things, it pays off. What’s better than having your dad conduct your wedding?
4. Moderation is key. Dad always says “I love to eat. You have no idea.” If you know him though, he truly hasn’t gained more than a pound in the past 30 years!! What’s his secret? He eats ice cream often, but every time he only eats one scoop at a time.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but when it comes to the big things, stick to your guns. When trivial matters come up, my dad never fights back with words. He doesn’t interrupt and amazes me with his patience, even when he disagrees. He picks his battles extremely carefully, and so while he isn’t one to rant and rage about little things, when it comes to the big important matters, you can be sure you’ll hear his voice.
6. Write letters and be bold about it. My dad is really good at writing letters and he’s taught me the power and value of this simple act. If he sees good, I’ve seen him write letters of thanks. When he is isn’t satisfied, he’ll write a letter as well. One time he wrote a letter to his county councilman after not getting any response from a company that inaccurately charged him. The next day after sending the letter, the company removed the charge. I’ve found writing letters to be extremely exciting. Even if it seems far fetched, I’ve learned to write anyways. So I’ve written to friends, family, Safeway, my condo association, Oprah, and just last week I wrote Loren Shook, the author of my new favorite book The Silverado Story. Was I excited when I heard back from the author himself the next day!
While there’s so much more, these are just a few lessons you’ve taught me Dad. And so for tonight, as another creative gift from myself, it’s only one scoop of ice cream in my bowl. Happy Birthday Dad! Both me and Kevin think you’re great!