Lessons I Learned From My Dad

While being in my 30s, somewhere in the borderline area between being a stable man and youthful enthusiast, I now have a more balanced and distanced outlook on my own father, himself currently in his mid-60s. A younger version of me might have looked more categorically upon both the strengths and the flaws of the biological reason why I exist, whereas the current I am able to discern the relative benefits as well shortcomings, and differentiate the crucial from the less significant.

I now realize that some of the things that I have done, partly or largely due to temporary and environmental circumstances, have moved beyond those of my father. In some ways I am “superior” to him. For instance I have obtained much more formal education, greater physical fitness, and travelled the world. (As a young businessman my father repeatedly visited certain European countries but only stayed in a limited number of places, like England, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Poland.)

Nevertheless there are areas in which my father has reached higher grounds and serves as a role model. Since these things have some degree of general constitution I will share them with the readers of A King’s Castle.

Always Put Family First

By constantly acting in such a way he has manifested that he always makes family the main priority, and he expects the rest of us to do the same, without giving up on other more or less important matters. In fact, he has been a very significant supportive figure with regard to secondary things such as sports and hobbies. When I played soccer and floorball as a child and during adolescence, he was very often there to support me.

He often has told me that as well, but words mean nothing if they do not hinge upon real actions that conform to such notions. For sure there have been overlaps between more individual career goals and the family first principle, but it seems that those strivings were more means to an end rather than egoistic pursuits. If he managed to earn decent amounts of money it was so that we could go to Disneyland in Paris, something that only a few could in the early 1990s, at least where I lived.

Be a Breadwinner

This dimension is largely interrelated to the above-mentioned: putting one’s family first goes hand in hand with being a breadwinner. My parents have often complemented each other in a very appropriate way – when times were more rough from a private economic perspective my mother earned somewhat more money – but it has mainly been my father who was our breadwinner. It has always been his main role to play in life, like it was a card that was dealt to him.

He is thus the sole reason why we, at least occasionally, could move upwards the socioeconomic ladder and live in nice buildings and go on better-than-average trips within Europe. Some of these things were also due to smart hacks, such as renting a place to live in rather than bying real estates, but the money he made was of course the major reason.

I cannot think of myself as something other than a breadwinner in the future, although I would also want to be a great role model in other respects.

Find New Ways to Thrive

A third component that I have identified as something typical for my father, and something that I gladly have absorbed throughout life, is to find new ways when those that you currently are stuck in do not work.

However, sometimes that will take a while to figure out. For example my father was stuck in some counterproductive, or at least time-consuming businesses that did no one no good, for several years. If he would have moved to sales, and later real estate business, in an earlier phase he could have avoided five years of near-drought and relatively large private debts that took years to pay back. Instead he could have thrived and spared himself and those around him, my mom in particular, stress and slight despair.

But better late than never. For the last 15 years or so, and especially the last four of them, it has been nothing other than success for my father, although limited and relative to where he started. If I could find a link to my own life, I have likewise been very focused on particular goals that I have not reached or that were misguided to focus on in the first place, and invested time and effort in projects that give little in return (at least from a financial perspective). But some things have proved to do so, and some moves have been at least slightly successful.

Just because you made some bad investments – at least from a temporal perspective – it does not mean that you have to be stuck there forever. Find new ways to thrive.

Cherish the Local and Regional

Another thing that I have realized is that my father has a penchant for the local and regional, rather than the national and global. In this context that implies that he always cherish and pays deep respect to what is near to him. Whenever he and my mother have moved within Sweden he has been involved in local activities, often pro bono, and likes to take a walk in the woods with the family’s dog. He prefers the quiet life and maintains a tranquil presence, as long as he is mainly occupied with his businesses and various practicalities within the frames of family life.

As far as traveling goes he still prefers European countries like Denmark, Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland (with the U.S. as the exception) instead of exotic places like Thailand. My two parents and I, now in company with my girlfriend, generally make trips together for three or fours days every year. For instance we went to Vienna, Edinburgh and Zurich.

I appreciate those moments together now more than ever, because when I look at my father I am proud of what he has accomplished and that he has – despite various flaws and setbacks in a curvilinear existential journey – improved himself throughout life.  I want that as well and in some regards I am unhesitatingly inspired by him.

Thank you dad, not just for the biological component, but for the lessons that you have taught me.

67 thoughts on “Lessons I Learned From My Dad”

    1. Thank you so much, man. I appreciate those nice words a lot. I Am happy to write here as well. Great site and many quality commentators.

            1. theyve been making fun of swedish men since the 1970’s…we shoulda known they wouldnt stand up for themselves by 1991 or so

    1. Grenade amnesty?
      So they’ll let Abdullah the Somali turn in his grenades with no jail time? Is that all? Not a weeks worth of free meals and a Swedish girlfriend? Sounds like a bad deal to me.

    2. Hey cheeseburger. Malmö is a “vibrant” small city with a lot of gangs. Not nearly as bad as American cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore etc homicide rate-wise, but still a lot of shootings and petty crimes. Even the leftists leave. It appears to be gangs from Albania and other Balkan states, plus Iraq, that import cheap munitions from former war zones and throw them around. If this country were not so pussified this would not be a problem.

      1. Thanks for the reply; yeah we have plenty of horrible cities here, but they dont toss grenades at one another- they actually do that in your country eh?

    3. Everyday I’m more and more surprised of how stupid and weak are the swedes of today. They will be the first caliphate in Europe, no doubt.

      What happened to the viking gene? in less than 1000 years they went from Vikings to effete leftist pussies; that must be a new record Guinness.

      1. And they didn’t fight in any world wars so that “whole generation of men was wiped out” routine that many employ to excuse the cowardice of their countrymen is not relevant in Sweden.

  1. Nice column as always Mr. Adams.
    Some of us have good/great fathers, a few have bad/abusive ones, and some of us, like me, had indifferent ones. Yours seems to have been very good. The fact that you state he always made family the first priority and supported your endeavors (and I assume that also meant he spent time to train you in certain things) tells me he was a good father.

    Mine was indifferent but what made that even worse is that he had a large range of skills he could have passed on to me. Naval Officer, Golden Gloves boxer, Mechanical Engineer from a top US engineering college, Business owner, Landlord, leader of his group of friends and relatives, attractive to females. But never spent one second of his time to train and mentor me to become the same, or at least put me on that path. He felt that being a provider and paying the bills satisfied his role as a father. The rest of his time was spent playing golf and banging his mistresses. The only thing he ever wanted to teach me was to play golf when I was an older teen. I never gave a damn about golf…

    But even though he didn’t give a damn I never hated him. He was pretty much useless to me. My mother on the other hand, I hated and will do so for eternity. She wet out of her way to be detrimental.

    1. Thanks. A lot of interesting experiences you mention. Seems that he missed some things in the upbringing process. My father has been predominantly good in that regard but there are some things lacking as well; no one is perfect. It is also our own responsibility to take action once we become older, in our late teens and onwards, but both my parents have been supportive, even though I sometimes wish they would have been more “redpilled”, instead of just giving thumbs up for nearly every behavior which was not outright bad.

      1. “Seems that he missed some things in the upbringing process.”

        Yes, that is true. Growing up I often heard him say “my father didn’t do that for/with me”. My aunt (his younger sister) has confirmed this for me. But the difference was that he grew up in a two family house with his older cousins next door. The eldest ran a boxing club and made sure all the younger guys joined. The extended family owned a farm up in the country and spent summers there. The cousins learned to shoot and hunt, fix tractor engines, and I am sure when older how to talk to and get dates with girls. My father didn’t need his father because he had his older cousins. Not to mention a large group of similar aged guys for friends. He had a tremendous support system even without a mentoring father. And he never realized or cared that I was growing up with none of those things.

        “It is also our own responsibility to take action once we become older”

        I agree. That action will vary from individual to individual. My action was to try to be as good as I can at in my field and earn as good a living as I can for what I do. And to do it completely on my own. At least that is one thing I can be proud of about myself.

        1. “My action was to try to be as good as I can at in my field and earn as good a living as I can for what I do.”
          I don’t understand why you constantly refer to yourself as a ‘loser’ then.

          1. A whole lot of negative reinforcement over the years.
            Trying (very, very, very slowly, I admit) to break out of that mold and way of thinking. Maybe one day.

            But that said, and as you certainly know, more to life than money. And certainly more to life than work…

            1. I imagine a lot of us found our way here trying to break that same mold to varying degrees. Remember its a process, a way of being, more so than a conclusion. So I look at excellence in anything (work, money-getting, parenting, sport-fukking, etc), while not always immediately translatable between goals, as proof of non-loserdom.

    2. my two friends I was out with the other night were Golden Glove boxers/trainers. You should have been too.

      1. Yeah, that would’ve been cool. Not sure how trainable I am at my age though. My hands might best be suited for hoisting drinks nowadays…

    3. Hey AutomaticSlim. I’m not a regular commenter but I felt compelled to comment this time. I don’t really know what Religious views you hold, but if you are a Christian/Catholic/Protestant ect. I’d be careful about not forgiving your Mom. She probably said and did a lot of horrible things to you. However in The Bible (Matthew 6:15), says that if you don’t forgive other people’s sins, God won’t forgive you of your sins. If you don’t forgive your Mother, you might find yourself being in eternal punishment. I wouldn’t wish that upon you or anyone I know.

      Again, I don’t even know if you believe The Bible, but if you do I just wanted to give you a warning.

      1. Appreciate your concern.

        I am a very lapsed Catholic. Used to take it very seriously a long time ago. Was even an altar boy for several years when in school.

        She was horrible in life, and even planned and executed a way to spite me from the grave. No forgiveness. Never.

        If you’ve been a reader here for a while you may have seen some of my other comments. I am not exactly living a “Christian” lifestyle, even for a lapsed Catholic. But I have never cheated, stolen, or otherwise screwed over anyone. Not saying that gets me into the pearly gates, but if (when) I do go to Hell, I figure it’ll be in one of the upper levels. Kind of like Times Square & 11th Ave back in the 80s.

        1. I have no doubt that your a fine citizen and you don’t screw anyone (And Thank God, we need more people like that.) Even still, I wouldn’t say that living that way is a wise way to live. Not that it matters because we all have our choices to make, and we can’t make choices for each other.

          I guess all I want to say is this. As long as you’re alive, your sins can be forgiven and the way back is open. But when you die, it’s over and there is no second chance.

          Thank you for your time man.

          God Bless

  2. My father, well he never wanted any of this for me. He knew my brother Santino would have to go through it, and Fredo, well….
    No I was to be different; SENETOR bem, GOVERNOR bem…..
    “A real pezzonovante?” I asked?
    “There just wasn’t enough time….” The old man lamented.
    But I assured him – “We’ll get there, Pop.”

                1. Nah, too tall for that.
                  But confession, communion, and absolution after committing multiple felonies? All for it!

                  1. As long as you let the father dip his beak, all is forgiven. I always admired the vig the catholic church got on those bingo halls.

                    1. When I was a kid, my parish used to run a casino night twice a year. I think many others still do.

      1. Hahaha! “Tu padre, pensa antica”.
        The real question is Sollozzo vs Luca.
        Who wins in a fair fight?
        I’m going with Luca as he was once a boxer.
        Here’s one of his fights:

        1. Luca wasn’t just a boxer. He had some experience in the “business” unlike the rest of the cast.

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