[Image credit: Taylor Spaulding. More photos here]
If you care for people, show them
I could never understand it when, as teenagers, my friends would say they never hugged their parents. Sure, I went through a pretty intense rebellious phase and there was a time I wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with my parents – everybody experiences that at some point. But my family always made it a point to say ‘I love you’ every time we spoke on the phone, to say ‘good night’ every evening before bed, and to hug each other. I’m thankful for this, because it means I am not ’embarrassed’ to tell my friends I care about them, or to hug them when they need cheering up.
Money is not everything, and it is there for spending
Sure – money is important and it’s very wise to put money away for a rainy day, but what’s the point of sitting in virtual poverty while the number in your bank account increases? Save some money, but use the rest to live your life. If you really really want something – a dress, a television, a fancy meal, a trip abroad, a book – then for goodness’ sake, buy it. You’ve earned it!
Be honest and don’t be greedy
My father is a businessman and he has succeeded in life because he has done his work honestly, worked hard, and has not tried to steal work from other people. He understands that it is more important to have people respect you than fear you. The world would be a much better place if everybody was like my dad in this regard.
Life is short
Whenever I find myself in a sticky situation and I discuss the problem with my father, his answer is ‘Life is short’. And he is so right. Life is fleeting; why waste it doing something that makes you unhappy?
My parents made it a point to take me and my sister abroad several times a year when we were younger. We experienced new cultures, met new people, tasted new food and have a more open mind because we can see there is a world part the confines of the island we live on.
Happy birthday, Pa!