GOOOOOOD AFTER-FREAKIN-NOON. What’s up? How are things? How you feeling? How you doin? I feel like that answer is good on all accounts, so I’m going with that assumption. Committed. Boom.
I’m jumping in, no dilly-dally today. The topic is very important, as well as very near and dear to my heart. Five important things that I have learned from my parents.
I have been so incredibly lucky to have had the parents that I do. They are two extraordinary people and they are both one of a kind. Somehow, the stars aligned perfectly and the universe brought these two wonderful people together.
The result? Me. Well, my sister also, but I was first so.
They have taught me everything and who I am today is the outcome of twenty-four years of their advice and guidance and I could not be more appreciative for everything they have done for me and taught me.
I could go on and on, but lets get to the list!
1. NOTHING BEATS HARD WORK
I like to start things with a bang, so I am starting off with a big one. This is the platform, the base, the very foundation upon which my life and who I am are built on. I had my first job at eleven years old, cutting grass and cleaning up dog shit for a friend of my Dad’s.
Since that time, I have never not had a job. More often than not, over the years, I have occupied more than one at a time. In high school I worked for a greenhouse, and two different coffee shops while going to school and training in martial arts.
I am a FREAKIN work horse. Currently, I go to my income gig from 8-4:30pm Monday-Friday, but every morning I get up at 5:00am and write for two hours before I go to work and when I get home from work I work on my book business, blog posts, website improvement, social media engagement, and on whatever book I am working on at the time.
Nothing happens without hard work. This country is built on it. We aren’t the greatest country on the planet because of our politicians, we are where we are because of normal, hardworking people that refuse to quit. That is the fabric of the United States, and I learned it from my parents!
2. STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND AGAINST WHAT IS WRONG
This world needs good people, now more than ever, but it doesn’t just need nice people who wave at you as they walk by. This world needs people who are willing to stand up for what is right and to stand against what is wrong.
Even when doing so means going against the grain, the norm or the popular. There aren’t many people who are willing to do this for one simple reason. It isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to fight the crowd. It isn’t easy to be the odd man or odd woman out. Sometimes, its hard to do the right thing and that is why the world has gotten so screwed up.
We are afraid of anything that is hard anymore. God forbid we get our feelings hurt, we go hide under the bed and create a hashtag about it. Most people can’t handle every day life as it is. Be the odd ball who is fighting what everyone else is doing because it’s the right thing to do? Sounds too difficult.
If you ask me, that a load of horse shit. We need to grow back up and start acting like actual adults. Sorry, I’m not sorry. You don’t get to work two hours a day and spend the rest of it on Netflix. You don’t get to go to your safe zone whenever things get tough and have everything just be okay. You don’t get to be excluded from having problems, everyone has them.
Rant over, that is for a future post, gotta love the controversial.
Moving on, my parents taught me to stand up for what is right, and I have always done that. The very first time I got called to the principal’s office, it was for fighting in second grade. The fight occurred because I saw a group of boys pushing around this kid who was a little different.
I’m not an expert on autism or Asperger’s syndrome, but even at that age was aware he had something along those lines. Anyways, these guys were shoving him around and laughing for no particular reason, so I intervened.
The group of guys chased me all over the playground and I still remember it vividly. Eventually I was tired of running away so I turned around and swung at closest kid to me. As it happens, I swung when we were about ten feet away from the recess teacher.
My parents had to come pick me up and I was afraid I would be in trouble, but I wasn’t. My dad told me on the ride home I would never get into trouble for defending myself or sticking up for someone who needed help. That has stuck with me throughout my entire life and it still holds true.
I publicly stated my stance when NFL players started kneeling during the national anthem. Another highly controversial topic, but the fact remains that men and women have died fighting for this country and to disrespect it is wrong.
There is no second way to look at it, its black and white. I have seen everything on the internet about how they were protesting discrimination or prejudice or racism or inequality or whatever. Blah, blah, blah it doesn’t matter what the reason is, its wrong.
By “protesting” those things in that manner, they were spitting on each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have fought and died for America and I could care less what hurts your fragile feelings in this world, that is wrong. Period.
I could tell more stories, but this post is already getting long, but I think you get the point. Be a good person, do the right things.
3. BE A GENTLEMAN
This one is important too, because it is a lost concept in todays society. Todays way of getting a date is swiping right and waiting for the doorbell to ring, then calling an uber later that night. Guys, this is not the way to do it.
I was taught to treat every woman like a queen, with honor and respect. Hold the door, bring them flowers, tell them how pretty they are, surprise them with chocolates, so on and so forth. Above all else, treat them great.
Too many guys now treat girls like they’re disposable and its quite sickening actually, and the problem is starting younger and younger. Why? Because PARENTS! You’re not doing your job right! You’re not teaching these young bucks!
Ladies, this goes for you too, you don’t get off the hook here because there are young ladies out there treating the boys just as bad.
What it comes down to, at the end of the day, is treating people good. Guys, girls, a mix of the two or any of the other genders or “identities” we have now, just treat people good. Be respectful. Have some class and some integrity. Be a good person.
We all treat each other so terribly anymore, excuse the language, but fuck that. Be the one who is different. Be the one who always puts a smile on everyone’s face.
4. THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY
This could be a really long post of its own, so I will try to keep it brief, but family is the most important thing. Family is the reason we are here, and it should hold a very important place in our lives.
I have been lucky to have a wonderful family. My parents and my sister are as good as it gets. Now, I know some haven’t been so lucky, as a matter of fact, I know that most haven’t been so lucky.
However, that does not mean that you have to just accept that as your reality. Just because family didn’t start out as such a great thing for you doesn’t mean it can’t end up being a good thing!
Family is your strength, your love, and your support. Nothing should be placed above them. Ever. They are the ones who stand behind you, beside you and in front of you when necessary. They are the ones who would die to protect you.
They are the ones who push you to chase your dreams and believe without a single shred of doubt that you will catch them.
5. TRUE LOVE EXISTS
Hopefully they don’t mind, but I want to give a quick summary of my parents relationship, and mind you, they will be celebrating twenty-eight or twenty-nine years of marriage this year, I’ve lost count, but you tend to do that that when your counting to forever.
My parents met when they were twenty-one years old. They fell for each other immediately and began dating. After two months of knowing each other my dad asked my mom to marry him. Six months later, or somewhere around there, they were married and have been in love since that day.
Here’s where the “true love” part comes in, because lots of couples stand the test of time. When you are around my parents, and if you know them you can attest to this, you can see the love between them.
The way they talk to each other, the way they look at each other and the affection that they show for one another all the time is undeniable. My dad still goes out of his way to surprise my mom with small gifts from time to time and my mom does the same for him.
They never stop making each other fall back in love and they do it effortlessly. Watching this, growing up, it taught me that true love is a real thing. It taught me that there is more to it than hooking up and moving on.
It taught me what it means to share a life with someone. To build a family with someone. To promise to love each other every single day and actually do it. It has taught me what it is to be a husband and a father, it has taught my sister what it is to be a wife and a mother.
This is something they may not even know has impacted me as much as it has, but growing up watching them has an enormous impact.
Growing up, I was always picky about who I dated, and I had very few steady girlfriends because I have always known that I wanted what they had. I wanted that type of love and affection every day and now I have it. Now I am sharing my world with the love of my life and we make sure to appreciate each other every single day, just like my parents.
Welcome to the end of an extremely long post and thank you for reading this far. I hope you enjoyed what I had to say and that you have experienced some of this in your own life.
The lessons I have learned from my parents are beyond value. They have made me who I am and have shaped my life. They have turned me into the man that I am today, and I am damn proud of who I have become, because I have become someone who is just like them.
Mom and Dad, I love you!