Watch Blazing Saddles & 11 Other Life Lessons from Wes

We've all been embarrassed by our father at some point.  Some points more often :) than not. But hopefully you've also experienced the good parts from your dad, too.  The parts where he loves, protects, and encourages you.  Having a father is a deeply personal and formative experience.  We take things from our parents and walk into the rest of life with those things.  Here are a few of the things I've learned from my father (Wes)... they are lessons that have formed and shaped who I am today.

  1. When in doubt, help someone.  This sounds like a cliche but it's not.  Being generous with time and things has always been a deep seated family value. 
  2. Never ever stop learning.  Learning is breathing.  The minute you stop learning is the minute you stop living. 
  3. Fix things.  Always have a little more than the basic tools for whatever part of your house needs fixed.  And, for God's sake, fix it yourself.  Never. Ever. Hire (unless you absolutely have to). 
  4. Be organized so you can fix things faster.  Wes has a million jars, containers, and boxes carefully stored so that the second something breaks, he has the tools to fix whatever appliance decides to backfire.  
  5. Always have bungee.  Bungee cords are as much as a staple as duct tape.  If you really want to be taken seriously, have bungee.  
  6. Watch (& reference) Blazing Saddles, The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Romancing the Stone, Harry and the Hendersons, Harold and Maude, anything Monty Python, Young Frankenstein, etc, etc, etc. You get the point. 
  7. It's okay to not like certain foods. Picky eating only reinforces a persons discerning palate.
  8. Directness is the holy grail of conversation. If you're not direct, I can't hear you.
  9. Quietly observe but don't be afraid of a good argument.  You don't have to be the loudest most boisterous person in the room but you do need a backbone.  If you want to make a difference you have to be willing to stand by what you believe. 
  10. Sarcasm is a weapon.  Only engage sarcasm when you really want to elevate the level of anger someone feels toward you.  Or when you're feeling funny and people aren't angry.  
  11. Knowing the difference between Right and Left is overrated.  
  12. Be interested in your kids. Ask questions, help them think, reflect back what you see in them.  

Happy father's day people.  Hope you make the time today to reflect on the lessons you learned from your padre!


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