Advice That Never Gets Old
My dad doesn’t have many sentimental items from his past. There is his navy pea coat, his lieutenant shoulder boards, and a letter from his father full of life advice written when my dad was a sophomore at Clark University.
I came upon this letter last year when helping my mom declutter family files. What initially caught my attention was my paternal grandfather’s elegant handwriting. No one writes anymore, let alone legibly. I read the four-page letter and was hooked at “Dear Rick.” Turns out his steady script matched his solid advice, but even more astounding is how relevant that advice remains.
“Impatience, in its way, is a virtue to goad the world forward and hopefully should be tempered with the wisdom of maturity and experience.”
“You want to be a psych major? Go ahead. A teaching career is good if you are so disposed in that direction.”
“If you feel really, but really bad, try these two foolish things…Sing out loud! Laugh out loud!”
“I have found it necessary to be flexible mentally. Believe and know there is a good and right answer to every problem…Turn these minus items into plus items…”
On finding this treasure, I had an idea. I typed up his words, added family photos, and created a book for my dad for Father’s Day. Everyone who has read it said they wished they had received such advice when entering adulthood. That’s when I decided to share his advice with everyone.
It’s not lost on me I’ve now published a book about each of my grandfathers. They were special men. My maternal grandfather Murray I knew well, but my paternal grandfather Manny, the author of the letter, died when I was eight. I wish I had known him better. Fortunately for me I got to receive good advice growing up from his son, the most important of which Manny gave in the opening line of his letter:
“Advice to give is so easy. But, it’s hard to give good advice.”
A Father’s Advice is now available as an ebook. Paperback coming soon!