During the first minutes of my first time alone with my future father-in-law (an academic dean), he said, “Tell me. What were the guiding principles by which you were reared?” I’d never given that much thought, but being young and intrepid, I came up with the following—not in any particular order.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
Finish what you start.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Failing is nothing to be ashamed of, but not trying your best is.
Go as far as you can, as fast as you can.
Education is the union card to a better life.
Your word is your bond.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Always be there for family.
It’s better to be the one giving help than the one receiving it.
When all is said and done, be prepared to take care of yourself and yours.
When I think of these guiding principles, I always hear my father’s voice. I always see his face.
One thoughtful comment
Your dad was so handsome. I remember him well.