While I don’t consider myself religious, I do believe in faith. There are some things we cannot control and sometimes we must be at the mercy of something bigger than we are. I conjoin those ideas of faith with some of the religious tenants found in Phil Robertson’s book. Maybe I can apply some of the tenants to my own life.
- On cooking: If you have to eat anyway, it just seems to me that you’re short-changing yourself if you don’t learn how to cook. If you have to eat, why not learn to eat well?
- Rule No. 7 for Happy Living: Buy a house near water (it’s a lot more fun).
- Never sell yourself short (You never know, you might be a millionaire).
- Rule No. 10: If you’re going to do something, do it right (instead of doing it again).
- Rule No. 12: Learn to forgive (life’s a lot easier that way). (See #27 in More Rules of a Gentleman)
- I also didn’t allow my sons to fight with each other. They could argue and disagree all they wanted. I didn’t have a problem with them raising their voices at each other to make a point. I wanted to encourage them to argue and make a case for their beliefs. But if it came to blows and there was meat popping, they were getting three licks each. I didn’t care who threw the first punch. If it ever came to physical blows, I’d step in and everybody involved got three licks.
- I wanted my sons to respect someone else’s property and to be thankful for what we had, even if it wasn’t much.
- “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.” My boys might have strayed from God’s path for them at times, but they always had their faith to fall back on. If you don’t have faith, there’s nowhere to turn. (See “Predictably Irrational“, comment on how our early inclinations bias our future actions)
- I wanted him to be a leader but with a sense of humor, too. I wanted him to work and make a living. I wanted him to be a man’s man, but with gentleness and love for me and his children, and be ready to defend us at all times. More than anything else, I wanted to feel loved and protected.
That last point is basically what I want to be as a man, and now that I have a son, I want to raise him to be that as well. At times, we stray from fitting that model but having it written down gives me something to come back to as a reminder.