Lessons Dad Taught Me
by Michael Bama Katt
- Stand up to shake a man’s hand.
- You ain’t much of a man if you can’t handle being around people who don’t see the world through your lens.
- And you ain’t much of a man if you can’t have your opinion challenged.
- Never make the opening offer.
- Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.
- The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.
- Someone trusts you with a secret, you keep it.
- Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
- Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
- Would the boy you were be proud of the man you’ve become?
- When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
- Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
- If you throw money at a degree in a field no one needs, don’t cry as that debt crushes you.
- There’s no shame in being wrong, unless you don’t learn from it.
- You marry a girl, you marry her whole family.
- Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, paddling like crazy underneath.
- Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
- Never be afraid to ask the best looking girl in the room to dance.
- Never turn down a breath mint.
- Don’t cuss around women and children.
- A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
- Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
- You wanna thank a veteran? Be an American worth fighting for.
- If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
- Eat lunch with the new kid.
- After writing an angry or ugly reply to a post, proofread it carefully, and proofread it twice. Then delete it.
- Ask your dad to play. He won’t let you win, you’ll have to earn it.
- Don’t be outraged just because others are; doesn’t take but a couple times of crying wolf for your opinion to become worthless.
- Give credit. Take the blame.
- You’re an American. Be proud of that; don’t let the sniveling wussbombs dim her shine.
- You don’t work, you don’t eat. Simple as that.
- Look a man in the eyes when you’re talking to him.
- When you’re walking with a woman, you walk closest to the curb.
- Love your mother because you won’t get another.
- Say it with your chest all the time.
- Never break your word. Ever.
- Spelling counts.
- Learn how to shoot, and shoot well. The 4 Primary Rules of Firearm Safety are not open for debate.
- If you follow in your dad’s footsteps, make them bigger.
- You are the template for who your son will become and who your daughter will marry. Don’t let them down.
- It takes a helluva long time to earn a reputation as a good, solid man, known for being decent and dependable. Just a couple ugly comments, or a couple cheap shots, will blow your good name. all to hell. And you’ll not get it back.
- Honor, respect, and decorum are increasingly atavistic values. Do not follow that trend.
- Bandana masks are for cowards.
- Don’t be a coward.
- Be the man people know they can come to for help.
- Be respectful, but don’t be anyone’s door mat.
- A ship is safe at harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.
- Don’t fall to peer pressure. BE peer pressure, and set a good example.
- Stand up to bullies, wherever you find them. Some people can’t defend themselves; it’s on you to take up that fight for them.
- Keep the Faith. But row away from the rocks.
Bama has been a rodeo cowboy, a professional stuntman, and, for 38 years and counting, a bouncer at various biker bars and redneck rat cage juke joints through the Deep South. He makes cool stuff as Crimson Tied Paragear, using knots his Army Ranger Scoutmaster taught him at Boy Scout summer camp deep in the Okinawan boonies back in 1972.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal September 18, 2019.
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