Results for - Lessons from My Father
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My father was a complicated man. He was definitely shaped by his times: born just before the '29 Stock Market Crash, raised during the Great Depression, coming of age post WWII, and service during the Korean conflict. Unsurprisingly, his children (products of the '60's) rejected a number of the attitudes and prejudices he and his generation held. Surprisingly, it was because of his own teachings. I know this is a bit on the long side, so no hard feelings if you choose not to read it (that's why we have the n/a button, right?). And it's not typical of what I usually throw out there, but it is where I am today.
1. When I was in second grade, my dad scandalized the nuns because he was checking my brother and me out of school not just to go to the movies, but to see West Side Story (sex, violence, inappropriate dress!). His reasoning? Simply that there were things to be learned from the film that we weren't likely to discover in school at our young ages- the effects of divisiveness and violence, acceptance of others among them. Do you agree with my father that this was a good way to introduce us to a wider world than we knew and some very big and complicated ideas?
2. Dad shocked the family into silence at dinner one evening by announcing he had almost fired Cocoa- a favorite of of us all- for taking a very long lunch without permission and throwing production seriously off schedule. Cocoa had stopped at the bank to cash his check before picking up lunch. When he paid for his food, he discovered that the teller had give him too much money, so he went back to return it. (The bank actually called Dad to tell him how impressed they were with his honesty.) When Dad asked Cocoa why he had returned the money, Cocoa simply told him, "It was just right." Which of the following do you think was the most valuable lesson my sibs and I took from this?
Acknowledge people who do the right thing.
3. My folks got a phone call from my teacher when I rather inappropriately recited "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" by Bonnie Parker to my junior high classmates after having been tasked with memorizing a favorite poem. It was politely, if strongly suggested that my parents monitor my reading material more carefully. Dad simply told me that while I was free to read anything in the house that interested me (and there were uncounted books, newspapers, and magazines to choose from), it would be a good idea to remember my audience before sharing what I read. Should my parents have censored my reading?
4. Dad picked me up from the airport one Christmas and on the way home, he stopped at the local synagogue where the rabbi's wife was waiting for him to pick up a mezuzah. Please note: my mother raised us as Catholic and Dad was an avowed agnostic so this was very strange and unexpected. I no longer recall what he had been reading, but the gist was that when the Jewish population of a town was threatened by outside forces, the Gentiles of the town placed mezuzahs on their own gate posts making it impossible to identify who was and who was not Jewish. This, my father said, was what community should be. When I bought my first home, a friend came over to help me properly place on my door frame the mezuzah my father gave me as a house warming gift. Do you agree with my father's definition of community?
5. There were numerous other things my sibs and I learned from Dad. He never beat us over the head with these "lessons." There was always some discussion and he answered or helped us find answers to our questions and from there we were free to ponder on our own. And in all fairness, we did have our share of knock down drag outs over things like Vietnam, pollution (Dad worked with heavy metals), and Civil Rights. Still, I think I was lucky to have been reared by the father I had. Do you think children learn better by being "shown" rather than "told"?