Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The most important lesson my Father taught me

Some time back in the late 1970's, when I was still at school a life changing event happened in my life. I didn't realise it at the time. In fact it is only recently that I've really understood it. We all think that life changing moments are big, monumental events. In my experience, often they are not. Often such lessons take decades for the truth of them to filter through.

Anyway let me tell you what happened. I was going to see a punk rock band (who I have long since forgotten) with a mate of mine. We were getting ready to go and as is my want, I made a pot of tea. As it was just being poured, my Dad walked in. I asked if he wanted one and he said "I am dying for one, it's freezing out there". As we sat around chatting, he said "What are you two up to?" I replied that we were going to see a band. He then said "I did a little cash job just before I left work. The guy gave me a tenner". He then gave us a fiver each. He said "You two go out and enjoy yourself. You'll enjoy it far more than I will". My friend was gobsmacked. His father was a stern figure who thoroughly disapproved of him enjoying himself. Whilst my Dad was no punk rock fan, he loved enjoying himself and loved nothing more than seeing his kids do the same. As we left, he said "you know money is worth nothing if you don't enjoy having it. I've seen many a miserable millionaire buried". The next day, he said "Did you have a good time?". We had and I said "Yes great, thanks" I also passed on my mates thanks. He said "You know his Dad is a miserable sod. I feel sorry for him. It must be hard growing up in a home where people don't know how to enjoy themselves". Like many of the things I learned from my Dad, it took years for the message to really filter through, but filter through it did. He viewed money as there to help us live and recognised the power of sharing. So if you have a spae fiver, just consider whether if you have any miserable friends who need cheering up. Mabe not a fiver, maybe just a bit of time

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