Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise, you will ruin their lives. -Proverbs 19:18, NLT
Like most of us, I probably could write a book about everything I learned from my parents--the hard way and the easy way--both consciously and through subliminal suggestion.
In celebration of Father's Day, however, I thought I could at least tackle the top 6 lessons I learned from my dad, Martin Lefkovits, along with samples of the things he said (some phrases more times than I could count, some just once) to get the lessons through to me:
- Mistakes are learning experiences. Admit them and fix them if you can. ("Go back up those stairs and walk down this time.")
- Accomplish something every day, even if it's just incremental progress on your latest assignment or project, but don't waste time. ("Don't just sit there like a lump on a log. Find something worthwhile to do.")
- Research anything you want to know. ("Get the dictionary and look it up.")
- Think for yourself. ("All you're doing is taking in information and regurgitating it. That is not using your brain.")
- It's okay to criticize, but never okay to be cruel. ("How dare you mistreat anyone for being different, when your ancestors on both sides of your family have suffered so much cruelty because they were considered less than their neighbors.")
- No worship is not acceptable. ("You don't have to go to [Christ Episcopal] church, but you're going somewhere on Sunday. You're not staying home.")
These lessons are all important and integral to my character today, but the greatest things I learned from my father are trust and commitment, which--added together--equal the finest definition of the verb "to love", in my book.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!