Tomorrow would have been my dad’s 77th birthday. He’s been gone for more than a decade, but obviously not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. And, of course, like all men I’ve spent the past few years becoming more and more like my own dad, and… I’m fine with that.
Submitted for your approval here, a reprinting of a list I composed several years ago. These are “Lessons my father taught me.” Dad never actually said these things, but I picked them up eventually anyway, piecing together some things he might have said were he around. Be warned, most of these are not noble or decent, as “lesson” lists tend to be. No, these are practical, and above all genuine. These are the real rules my father taught me.
And Happy Birthday.
Rules My Father Taught Me
1. Put yourself first.
2. Never let work get in the way of your hobbies.
3. Make sure other people are more indebted to you than you are to them.
4. Stash away as much money as possible.
5. But if you really want something you should buy it.
6. The only person you can really trust is yourself.
7. There is no need to meddle in the lives of others.
8. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you, including your relatives, friends, and coworkers.
9. When in doubt, consult Rule #1.
10. Every once in a while, do something selfless and generous, just to keep people on their toes.