Watching my father, I learned importance of teaching your children. He did this in a relaxed way in everyday conversation, more formally around the dinner table, and sometimes just by challenging us to think.
My father’s command of words and ideas made for quick, memorable lessons. My favorite is the “Parable of the Teargas Grenade,” which he delivered with laser-targeted accuracy.
As I prepared to leave for my mission, I found an extra $1500 sitting in a low-interest bank account and wondered about investing it. What would give the best return with low risk? I quickly thought of diamonds. What a great idea! They were appreciating at 10% per year, and a diamond for an engagement ring was sure to come in handy after my mission.
I told my dad. He sat quietly, thinking. Then he spoke:
When I was in the military in basic training, somehow I got hold of a teargas grenade. And because I had it, I was dying to use it. The first chance I had I pulled the pin, and I cried a lot. I cried a lot more than I would have if I’d waited for a better opportunity.
That was it.
I laughed. And I didn’t buy the diamond.
On this Father’s Day, I remember you and all you taught me, Dad. Thanks for your timely and appropriate insights. I try to do the same in my family now, sometimes with examples of my own, but sometimes I just pass yours along at the right time, from you to them.
Happy Fathers Day!