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DAD-ISMS


Here are a few dad-isms from a recent website I visited -


"Get in and get out."

This applied to an open back door or refrigerator. Just because you don’t pay the gas and electric bills, that doesn’t mean you should waste energy, he’d tell us as we alternately let the cold air into the house and out of the fridge deciding if we wanted to play football or have some milk. This sage advice applies to life in general: Make your choice, then move ahead.


"Quit talking about it and do it."

It doesn’t have quite the same ring as Nike’s famed "Just Do It" campaign, but it’s the same concept. Be smart and make an educated decision, yes--but once you’ve made the decision, act on it.


"Oh, those base-on-balls."

To this day, when we watch a game with my dad, we’ll hear him utter this every time a pitcher walks a batter. He hates a free pass. You earn everything in life.


He was also the voice of discipline: "You’d better stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about."

This was his most effective way of discouraging tears, because I don’t ever remember finding out what that "something" was.


"Don’t make me turn this car around."

With four boys crammed in the back seat, at least one child was always crossing into the imaginary DMZ between us and drawing retaliatory action by the offended party. Whether we were a block or 700 miles from home, we always took my dad’s threat seriously. He would, in fact, turn this car around.


Finally, he was - and is - the guy who’s always there to encourage you, no matter what:


"Keep on plugging."


To this day, this is probably my favorite expression of his. Not only does it encourage me to keep working hard in my professional and personal life, but it also implies that he approves and is proud of what I’m doing. Nothing means more than that to a son.


"It never hurts to ask."

My dad made this his motto in his job as a college fundraiser. He adopted it from my younger brother who once presented a detailed 12-page wish list to be mailed to Santa. The lesson is that nothing is impossible - not asking or not trying is the only thing you’ll regret.

"Payback time, buddy!" This has emerged as his latest classic, now as a grandfather. If you tell him about sleepless nights with the baby, or about a kid who acted up in church, he’s sure to ooze with delight, "Payback time, buddy!" As I say, he’s there for you no matter what.


Idea to try with your dad today:


This Father’s Day, salute your dad by rattling off some of his favorite sayings. Let him know you were listening. More important, take the wisdom of your father and live by it. Pass it on to the next generation. You’ll soon see how your own children will benefit.

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