Soul Food for Friday features quotes to inform and inspire, to comfort and to challenge. In other words, great advice that dad’s often give. My dad has given me some great advice over the years and taught numerous lessons along the way. My love for quotes flow out of words of wisdom he passed on to me. Enjoy these 5 great lessons my dad taught me.
My dad taught me this great quote from Vince Lombardi, “The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.” That quote hangs in my office on the wall directly across my desk. Even more than learning those words, my dad taught me to live those words. As much as I love a great quote, I love even more when they are lived out in life.
2. Be generous
Generosity defines my father’s approach to life. I asked him once how he learned to be so generous and he told me how his brother Art was the first one to have a job that paid. When he’d get paid, he would go to the store and buy a Hershey candy bar, and break in it 8 pieces to share with his brothers and sisters. Love for chocolate drives Burkeys to do many things, including learning to be generous!
3. How to Best Respond to Critics
Not sure the source of this quote my father shared but it has helped keep me from escalating a bad situation into a horrific one when I have been wise enough to follow its advice. Simply put it goes, “Don’t get in a peeing match with a skunk.” Just can’t win that one. I have tried a few times, and we both came out smelling. When I have learned to hold my tongue and keep my temper in control, I have been thought wiser than I actually am. As the years go by, I learn to appreciate the wisdom of such words.
4. Leaders lead.
This one came in multiple versions: “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” Or the one I remember even more, “Two kinds of people in the world. Those who watch things happen and those who make things happen.” My dad taught me with his example that I wanted to be one used by God to make things to happen.
My life of faith flows out of what my parents taught me. My dad taught me to bring an optimistic outlook to life, that Murphy was indeed wrong. To believe the best, to pursue excellence, to lead as God directs, to point others to Christ. That powerful faith dynamic has fueled the person I have become. As well as a healthy dose of a sense of humor and love for chocolate.
Thanks to my dad and all fathers who teach their children well. Thank you for sacrificing for us, caring for us and helping us to grow from childhood to adult.
What great words of wisdom has your father passed on to you? How are those words influencing your life today?