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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Lesson - A useful piece of practical wisdom acquired by experience or study.

Often times we learn lessons in life when we least expect it. Sometimes we use books to learn while most often we learn by living. During a conversation with a friend, we reflected on what our parents taught us about dating. We recalled if it was something they said to us or showed us as children.

My friend said his mother nor his father shared much about dating tips. However his father showed him by his actions that hitting a woman is detrimental. Therefore my friend in his dating knows for sure that if there is nothing else you do right in your relationship, you never raise your hand to a woman. He watched his mother suffer and has chosen not to carry on that part of his father's legacy.

I shared almost the same advice from my parents - almost absent advice. However there are instances in which I have spoken to my parents about my dating experiences, as well as, my friends' experiences. During one conversation, my father made sure to point out that a woman should never attempt to force a man to marry them. If and when a man is ready to marry, let him come to you, were his words. My mother said don't try to make a man a man. If he isn't already a man when he comes to you then he is of no use. Don't buy into the hype of molding a man. Words are powerful, but examples are even more powerful.

As my friend and I continued to talk, we agreed that while our parents shared little with us, their lives spoke much louder. He said while his father was abusive at times, he always made sure to be the provider of the family. There was without a doubt the notion that a woman should be relieved of stresses about money. I followed in favor with the representation of my father and grandfather. As a child, my grandfather was the world to me. He was a community man - worked to help others. At a very young age, he taught me to stand up for myself. My dad, he showed me that working hard pays off. While there were many times I remained angry or resentful toward my father for various reason, he still managed to show me what a man is capable of. My entire life, both of the male figures in my life worked and worked hard. My friend and I grew up in two different environments, yet came from them with similar lessons.

My friend and I laugh as we continue to converse about this.

What we determined at the end of this conversation is that if we live by the lessons taught or experienced, we are destined for greatness in relationships. Funny thing is our conversation alone is a life lesson. He and I grew up in the same country town and have never had a full conversation until now - 33 years later. We laugh at our impromptu conversations. We've passed each other for years with judgments of each other's character only to learn that we are something entirely different from our judgments. Lessons come from such unforeseen people and places.

My two hopes about lessons are that they continue to be made clear in my life and that my son find lessons just as I did. He is less fortunate than I by not having a vast amount of role models. While there are some, they stretch across the states only to appear during certain times of the year. As I reflect on my conversation with my friend, there is certainly hope for my son as people are certain to come into his life when he least expect it.

Learn the Lesson and Live It!