Several weeks ago I used this column to share lessons I learned from my parents in recognition of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. My intention was to honor mothers and fathers everywhere for the wisdom they impart to their children.
The column apparently struck a chord, because I had a record response from readers about similar advice they received from their parents. And with Father’s Day here, I can’t think of a better time to pass some of them on to you.
One person said her father taught her the difference between needs and wants. There are items that we need in order to live and then there are items that we want but can live without.
Another writer mentioned character. He said it wasn’t something his parents taught him, but rather showed him in the way they lived their lives. In other words, want a good kid? Be a good adult.
One reader even sent a link to a video that was made as a tribute to his own father as well as a legacy for his sons that explained his philosophy of life. It was so inspirational, and given modern technology, an enduring gift that many of us can imitate.
And on and on the responses went. How gratifying that so many chose to share their own experiences of the tremendous wisdom gleaned from their fathers and mothers alike. Here are some of the dozens that I received.
I am grateful that I can still hear my father’s advice when I need to make a tough decision. I learned not only from his words but also from his example.
My good friend Lou Holtz said the best advice he ever got about marriage and raising a family is that the most important thing you can do as a father is to show your children that you love their mother.
And here’s what Martha Stewart said about her own dad: “The best advice I’ve ever received was from my father when I was 12 years old and willing to listen. He told me that with my personal characteristics, I could, if I set my mind to it, do anything I chose. This advice instilled in me a great sense of confidence, and despite the fact that sometimes I was a little nervous, I stepped out and did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. I think it really often is up to the parents to help build confidence in their children. It is a very necessary part of growing up.”
Mackay’s Moral: Parents teach lessons even when they think no one is watching.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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