My dad lost his father to a heart-attack when my dad was just 18 years old. The childhood memories that he has are the only guiding force of experience that his father was able to leave him. He didn’t have his father to talk to him about how to be married or how to raise children, how to manage finances, be a responsible citizen or a successful businessman. He learned the value of that input because it wasn’t always there for him. If you were my father, how would you go about raising your children? I’d expect you’d try and teach them as much as you could from your own experience while you were still with them.
Imagine your surprise to find your child doesn’t look to you for input and wants to learn everything for himself. That can be hurtful for a parent, but really it’s the child who misses out! I think about how happy my father still is to teach me everything he knows about, well, everything!. He’s delighted to teach me all the skills he’s learned. Honoring my father positions me to benefit from a whole life that is before me. I’m lucky my father is still with me through these years of my life. Accessing and learning from my parents’ experience can set me up for success far beyond what I could hope to do on my own.
4 Insights from the Voice of Experience: (Click to Tweet)
1.) Successes: Chances are your parents have done something right along the way. They made a good choice that paid off. They avoided some disaster that others fell into. Maybe they discovered a perspective on life that has kept them happy or made them prosperous. Honor will help you learn from their success.
2.) Failures: Even if your parents have never made a good choice, they still have a world of experience to offer you. Trust me, they know where they’ve screwed up. And I bet they don’t want you to take the same path! Honor will help pull out of them the lessons they’ve learned from their failures.
3.) Knowledge: Wouldn’t it be a shame if every generation had to learn everything for itself? We would have to discover every invention and insight into our world all over again every generation. While that may seem ridiculous, it’s often the approach we take toward our parents. Honor, however, will help us build on the foundation of knowledge they’ve already established.
4.) YOU: That’s right! Nobody has had more experience with you than your parents. Sometimes you need to step outside of yourself to understand why you are the way you are. Parents see things about you that you don’t comprehend on you own. Honor will open up this well of experience and help you understand the greatest mystery of all…yourself!
How have you benefited from your parents’ experience?