Thursday, August 7, 2008

Five Lines to Live By: Wisdom from my Father

[Note: this is not a posting on theme]

As writers we have a special privilege (& responsibility) to provide depth and clarity through our work. This doesn't mean being preachy or even being weighty; it simply means having larger meaning. Writing that is all candy doesn't stick with you -- it'll even make you a little nauseous, wish you hadn't gobbled quite so much. Weaving in bits of wisdom, golden nuggets of common sense, or slices of epiphanies means writing with substance. A little goes a long ways, but it's the bit that will stick with your reader long after the catchy plot fades.

My father is my hero, which means I tend to listen to his advice or at least take it into consideration. Here are five lines I've heard him say countless times over the years:

1. Don't be selfish.

2. Think before you act.

3. Life is a series of stepping stones.

4. Motherhood is mankind's highest calling.

5. In the end, all that matters is who you love and who loves you.

There are exceedingly long stories, sermons, and sandwiches wrapped up in all of these, but who cares what they mean to me. What do they mean to you? What are the proverbs, words of wisdom, or reality checks that your role models have handed down to you? Add your two cents worth via comments, and maybe we'll end up with a compendium of wisdom that outlasts us all.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, most of what I learned came from movies instead of role models...
Here's my favorites:
(unsure if they are exact quotes or not)
"If you're not scared, how is it bravery?"
"In order to prove yourself, you must first complete the tasks placed before you."

Jena Isle said...

Hi Alex, your site is great! haven't noticed the EC widget however. I find you to be a prolific writer. Can I invite you to write for my blog? But I can't compensate in cash just Entrecard credits, and I think you're no an entrecard member??? Let me take a second look afetr this.

Glad I've found your site. happy blogging. Oh, for the post, I like how you remember all these from your father, especially that one which says :"Don't be selfish." and the last one " All that matters is who you love and who loves you."

All the best

Jena Isle said...

Oh, for the compendium, let me see...I rememeber this from my mother. I first hear the Golden Rule from her: " Treat others like you want yourself to be treated."


Alex Moore said...

@cirellio: in this digital age, movies are certainly role models! (tho i'm not certain what that says for our society in general!)

hmm...these are great quotes & i sense a theme: completing what is difficult forges the man (or woman) we need to become.

@jene isle: the Golden Rule never goes out of style.