My late Dad had 3 jobs. He did that so that he could feed and send his 15 children to school. He was always working and we didn’t see much of him. He passed away when I was in the Army. I seldom talk about my Dad because I get emotional when I do. He was a hardworking man working tirelessly for the family and wanted to ensure we all had a good education. I learnt so much from him. These are the 5 things I learnt from him.
1. When someone else overtakes you or is better than you, do not feel angry or jealous. In life, there will always be someone ahead of you or someone overtaking you. His advice : “It’s their time. Your time will come.” When our time comes, it’s usually when we are truly ready for it. He was also talking about road behaviour - I used to ride a motorcycle and he told me not to get worked up when another motorist overtakes me - especially when they ride/drive a much fancier or powerful vehicle.
2. Don’t be afraid to work hard. He showed me that juggling 3 jobs in a day is possible. He was a gardener, petrol kiosk attendant and did other odd jobs (like working in a quarry). When he came home, he never complained. In fact, he would help my mom to give his younger children a bath before he would finally call it a day. Looking at what he did for us , I’m not afraid to put in the long working hours for my family . Its necessary to do this especially in the early stages of our career or business - once a strong foundation has been established, all the long hours will bear fruit and you will find it easier in the later part of your career/business. In other words, one day you will enjoy fruits to your labour.
3. Teach your children life skills. There’s one skill that I’m indebted to my Dad - swimming. Every Friday, my Dad will take a day off and bring me and my sisters for a swim at Pasir Panjang beach. I was about 6 or 7 years old then. I remembered vividly that he would put me on his stomach and he would swim on his back and showed me how to float. He then taught me slowly how to track water and swim. I would never forget how happy I was to be swimming freely in the ocean every Friday. Today, with my 3 daughters, we made sure that all of them learn how to swim at a very young age and it has benefitted them immensely.
4. Never fight or have an argument in front of your children. I’ve never seen my parents make unhappy gestures, sulk or argue in front of us. They always appear as one united front whenever big decisions need to be made for the family. In fact, my Dad would always support my Mom in whatever difficulties we encountered when we were growing up. He was quiet but full of love in the things he did. In other words his actions speak louder than words.
5. Prioritise education. Though we were really poor at that time, my Dad always ensured we had our basic education covered first. Any spare money was put on books and school uniforms.
There’s a famous quote that says, “Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a Dad.” My Dad was special to me.
Selamat Hari Bapa…Bapak. Love you always ❤️😢
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