My son and his lady dear are away on a month-long experience in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand in celebration of achieving his doctorate. He posts photos and recaps of each day on a travel blog. I’m touched by the smiles on their faces and how happy they are together. Covered in mud and sweat from riding dirt bikes in a group excursion far out into the country, the expressions on their faces yesterday are the sort of riches a parent hopes for a child. He’s a fully grown man of thirty and a good one too. However, I will always be a “Father” who offers a little advice here and there like the two nuggets of insight below.
“The Tone of Voice” – author unknown
It’s not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It’s not so much the language you use
As the tone in which you convey it;
“Come here!” I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
“Come here,” I said-
He looked and smiled
And straight to my lap he crept.
Words may be mild and fair
Or the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words may be soft as the summer air
But the tone may break my heart;
For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art-
But tone leaps from the inner self
Revealing the state of the heart.
Whether you know it or not,
Whether you mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love, and hate,
Envy, anger, are there.
Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice?
Keep anger not only out of words-
Keep it out of your voice.
From “Tribute On A Very Real Person” Unknown
People are of two kinds, and he
Was the kind I’d like to be.
Some preach their virtues, and a few
Express their lives by what they do;
That sort was he. No flowery phrase
Or glibly spoken word of praise
Won friends for him. He wasn’t cheap
Or shallow, but his course ran deep,
And it was pure. You know the kind.
Not many in life you find
Whose deeds outrun their words so far
That more than what they seem, they are.
Being a father has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. From birth till now my son has been a true joy and it grows as the pile of memories gets bigger and bigger. For the gift of being a parent and all the it has taught me I am deeply grateful.
Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you,
and their souls the heaviest responsibility
He will place in your hands.
Be a person in whom they can have faith.
When you are old,
nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.