Like my husband and I, my parents are as different as night and day. My mom (before her stroke), liked to talk a lot and was as noisy as I am at parties. My dad, on the other hand, didn’t really talk much—he was the quiet type before my mom had a stroke. But oddly enough, it was my dad who gave me a lot of sermons when I was growing up.
My mom preferred giving the silent treatment, while Dad could go on for hours lecturing me about something I did wrong—or about to do wrong. So it’s really no wonder I got a lot of anecdotes from him. He liked making metaphors to explain things, and I have to admit sometimes I couldn’t help but do the same :P
But among the many metaphors and anecdotes my dad gave, one sticks out as my favorite.
It’s best never to assume that you’re already the best. Remember that there is always someone better than you out there, so don’t stop striving and learning to be better.
The first time I heard my dad say this was during the time I was a Graphic Design Editor for my college paper. That was the first time I actually held a position wherein I would have people reporting to me. My dad, being a dad, cautioned me not to let it get to my head. He reminded me that though I seemed to be “the best” there is, there will always be somebody out there who will be better.
One can interpret this in two ways. You can think of it as a challenge to better yourself further since you know there is always competition, or, you can think of it as a humbling idea that would keep your head on the ground. But I always believed that my dad wanted to instill both into me. Challenge yourself, and remain humble.
I’ve met quite a few people who have allowed their accomplishments get to their heads. Some liked to brag, some liked to treat people like they’re below them, and some take advantage because they think they’re better. I think you’ll agree with me when I say that conceited and self-centered people are quite annoying (and sometimes even damaging to others). But when you really think about it, people who excessively believe too much of themselves most often than not end up not listening to others who can help them do better.
Unfortunately, once you believe you’re already on top, there isn’t any other place for you to go but down. And that’s such a sad thing. Who knows what else you could have accomplished if you didn’t make yourself believe you’re already the best there is and there is nothing more for you to learn?
Well, I must say I’m glad I listened to my father.
I’m 27 years old, and I can humbly say that I’ve accomplished quite a bit of the goals I set for myself when I was younger. But still, I continue make myself better; I continue to study and learn new things that could further improve me and my work. I know that God gave me talent to do some things better than other people, but because of what my dad taught me, I continue to believe that there are also a lot more people better than me. That thought doesn’t put my confidence down—far from it—but it does give me a reason to better myself and continue bettering myself.
Thank you, Dad. I’m glad you took the time to teach me these things.
A Happy Fathers’ Day to all you dads out there!