Lessons from Fathers

Published 2:27 pm Sunday, June 19, 2016


There are many lessons for life that are also applicable to work life to be learned from fathers. In celebration of Father’s Day, the following is a short list of some that are most valuable.

It doesn’t matter what you do in life as much as who you are — Education and preparation are important but determining your career based on what you enjoy and are good at are more important that satisfying other people’s desires for your life. Be your own person.

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Always tell the truth — There may be times you are tempted to lie and it may be acceptable to others but it is never the right thing to do.

Learn what is truly important in life — Make your own way. Determine those things that are not really important . It is not money, power or prestige. Doing your best, treating people right, being trustworthy and dependable lead the list.

You will not always win — In sports and in many situations in life you can’t always come out the winner. You must handle defeat and disappointments in life and learn from them. Learn to be a gracious winner and loser. Move on. Today’s loss will be no more than a faint memory in a short time as long as you don’t let it defeat your spirit.

People deserve respect — Always treat others like you would like to be treated. Showing respect for people exhibits the kind of person you really are. Being arrogant, self-righteous and a “know-it-all” will not gain any friends or inspire any respect from others. Show respect if you want to receive it.

Always work hard at any task — There is no excuse for not doing your best, regardless of the job. In the smallest of duties to the biggest assignments in life, always give it your best and work constantly to do even better.

Don’t let discouragement take over — Keep on keeping on. Believe in yourself. Don’t allow others to get you down. Self-doubt can throw you off track and send you down the wrong trail. You won’t always be on top. Figure out ways to accomplish your goals.

Enjoy the little things in life — Celebrate little victories and use them as a springboard for accomplishing the bigger goals. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on things to find joy and happiness. Trying to impress other people should not be a priority. It is not worth it.

Cherish your family — Blood is thicker than water. God placed you in your family. You had no choice about who your parents are. Make the best of your situation. Parents are not perfect. Learn from them, both the things to emulate and those things to avoid.

Love with all your heart — Tell people you love and show them by your actions that you care. Show love even though others may not have shown love to you. Let the important people in your life how much you care.

Fathers are human — Fathers are not perfect. Fathers need forgiveness for the mistakes they make in life. Some people don’t know who their father is or may have a father who is not a part of their life. You may have a father who doesn’t set a good example. Make the best of it anyway. Find strong Christian men as mentors and develop a relationship with them. If you are a father ensure you don’t repeat the mistakes you have seen.

Get your priorities in the correct order — God first, family second, friends and career third. You will save yourself lots of heartaches and disappointments in life by majoring on the major and minoring on the minor. If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.

Money is not the answer to all your problems — Things purchased with money are not near as valuable as those things that money can’t buy. How much you have financially doesn’t define who you are. Money and things can be stolen, taken away, broken, etc. Money doesn’t bring happiness but often really introduces more problems than it solves. It also complicates relationships with other people. Those who are trying to impress others and making their life look impressive often are trying to fill a void.

Don’t let fear overtake you — Fear can be a paralyzing force in your life. It can control you. If you are afraid to fail you will fail to succeed. Risk is involved in everything in life and must be measured and dealt with in order to accomplish anything.

Father’s Day may be a day of remembering if your Father is not living. Celebrate the remembrances of the good times and the simple things in life you learned from your Dad. Pass them along to others. There are many people who yearn for love, approval, relationships, involvement with others, etc. You can be an influence on someone who really needs to know that someone cares. The best employees are those who not only have expertise and qualifications in their field but who also care and get along with their co-workers ands customers. For men and women alike the traits of caring, setting a good example, establishing relationships will be the best legacy you could ever leave.

There are many verses of scripture that provide guidance for every day life. On of my favorites is: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.