My father taught me these three lessons

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My father stands out as a very unique and consistent character in my life story for several reasons. He has always had a mysterious air about him which has only been enhanced by his being a man of few words (most of the time).

To consider who he was before he was my father would be too far-reaching. And, I genuinely only have small fragments and stories on which I could rely to delve into such a historical lecture of the man I call Dad.

Today, being Father’s day, I am going to take my time to really appreciate and reflect over the lessons my father has explicitly taught me and the lessons I picked up just by watching him.

My father taught me these three lessons that I hope you could also be blessed by; like I have:

1. Smile

Yes! That simple??! Well, my father has always been passionate about the value of a simple smile. His candid frustration with my straight-non-smiling face as a child initially struck me as odd. Why would someone be so keen on a smile? I didn’t know then. But I know now. My paps believes in the value of spreading joy and treasuring moments with people. Almost every family photograph we have shared over the years was due to his insistence on the importance of capturing and preserving precious moments with smiles.

Dad: ‘Oh smile erh! You look your best when you smile.’

It is interesting to note that scientifically, actually, smiling does have a positive effect of increasing levels of happiness. And, for my dad, that even makes it more worthwhile. Being happy ourselves, creates opportunities for us to share happiness with those around us. It is also an opportunity to step out of ourselves to appreciate others.

A smile says, I see you. A smile says, I may not know you, but you matter. A smile says, you are welcome here.

A shared smile, frozen in time, with a photograph, lives on to inspire family and friendship. I have carried this lesson with me, and have seen its magical effect of lighting up a room 🙂

2. Plan

When I talk to my dad, he is always going to hint at prospects for growth. He’ll ask about progress with school, plans for the summer…all down to the very last detail. He believes in making the best use of resources by first deciding what to use those resources for. His financial management and how he instils time management into my brother and I is remarkable. He lifts our eyes from today to a much bigger picture of the future. My father has taught me to take actions now that would produce long term positive results.

I have found that planning rekindles hope of better days ahead. It is choosing to take hold of the things I can control and actively identifying where I need to let go.

3. Be kind and love

My father is a big giver. He gives and gives and gives to those in need. My mum, brother and I have probably lost count. It amazes me that being kindhearted seems to be a default setting in him that flows out naturally and consistently. He gives to people but most importantly he gives to God. His constant prayers for our family and his service in ministry keep us woven in a kind of love that goes beyond himself and redirects us all to our Heavenly Father.

‘I am blessed so that I can bless.’

Though I may never be as kind as my father is, he has taught me — through living out the example — that there is great satisfaction and purpose in sharing and going out of your way to support people. I stand to gain so much more from being considerate and generous with what I have.

While this might all initially appear to be a perfect story and account of who my father is, ma’am and sir, I want to assure you that it is not.

Today, I chose to honour my father because he is an honourable man. Facts.

While honourable men have their fair share of mistakes, what I hope to achieve with this post is to allow you to also ponder over the life of your father. What lessons can you take away? How can you build yourself up in appreciation and honour of who he is?

Happy Father’s Day!

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