What was your dad’s advice?

Published 11:01 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

Is your dad predictable?

Years ago, I was pondering a job opportunity. A co-worker asked if I had talked to my dad about it. I hadn’t. Didn’t need to, I explained, because I already knew what he would say.

“Whatever you decide to do, we’re behind you,” would be the first thing. And somewhere in his response would be his favorite example. “It doesn’t matter if you’re digging ditches; just make sure they’re the best darn ditches that have ever been dug.”

Striving for excellence is a “thing” with him. No matter how good the grades were we brought home, he always asked if we couldn’t have done a little better.

I was always amused when these words tumbled from my husband’s mouth: “Rules and regulations.” I was fairly certain he was wasting effort in everything he said after that because his son certainly wasn’t listening; ditto his employees.

Earlier this week, we asked friends who follow The Star-News on Facebook to share their dads’ oft-repeated advice. Turns out, I’m not the only one with a predictable dad.

Tina Helms Williams remembers her dad saying, “If you can’t say nothing nice about people then don’t say nothing at all!” and “Bite your tongue when someone makes you mad and you won’t say something ugly to them. Be very careful of what you say cause once you have said it then you can’t take it back and they will remember it till the day they die … even if you are the best of friends.”

Brenda Ziglar’s father advised, “Never tell lies because they come back to you. Treat others like you would yourself.”

One might need to understand old-time logging to understand the advice Randy Franklin received.

“My grandaddy was a logger with a bow saw and oxen in Northern Covington County..so he taught my cad and me an old saying, ‘Just let the ‘loose end drag…..and the ‘slick’ end slide,’ ” he recalled.

Sue Bass Wilson’s father obviously wanted his children to be competitive. His words: “Don’t look back – someone may be gaining on you!”

Kathy Lawson Stephens’ father counseled, “If you really want something, go after it until you achieve it.”

Donna Fountain’s dad wanted her to mind her manners. “You can be a lady wherever you go, to church or to a bar,” she was told.

Salynn Mullen was taught, “Never depend on anyone but yourself, because everything you do alone and achieve alone you always appreciate it more.”

Julie Davis Anderson’s father repeated, ” ‘As long as you eat under my table, you’ll follow my rules.’ And we’d get tickled, cause he said, ‘under’ his table.”

My dad still uses that one, and he and mother been an “empty nesters” for years.

Happy Father’s Day to you and yours.