If there is anything I could truly teach, it would be to always respect and appreciate the lessons your fathers are teaching you through the examples they set for you.
Growing up I used to think dad was crazy? Why? Because he always expressed himself in his own way. He always intellectually digested everything and everyone in this way where you could feel him physically absorbing everything around him. I always mistook him for being quiet, but it’s the quiet ones who have the internal gift of silence and silence is where life’s answers flow to you. Silence is a feeling state and there is nobody who exists in a more feeling state than my father, so much so, that you can feel the loudness of his mind the way fireworks joyfully exhilarate you on the fourth of July.
Here’s the reason why I thought he was crazy when I was kid. I was forced to go to school and I never enjoyed much of any school experience I have ever had. While I had a few great teachers, most made me feel foolish for being me, the way I always observed my father being himself. School made me think I had to try to be everything else, but the person I was still trying to understand myself to be. Actually school and most of my school teachers never helped me understand anything more than I was supposed to listen to them and regurgitate what they would most of the time, unenthusiastically dictate to the classrooms they couldn’t wait to get you out of. My memories of school were these rather boring unenthusiastic grown-up size humans all gossiping about each other when they would give the class assignments and greedily discussing this coveted thing called “tenure”. I was never encouraged to think and whenever I was asked a question, it was done as a form of punishment, because my “teacher” caught me day dreaming. I was never asked about me unless I was getting scolded for daydreaming. Daydreaming was the only way I felt I could survive another cold colorless day of the classrooms I couldn’t wait to hear the ending bell in. I was taught to memorize, not think. I was taught that being different was bad. I was scolded for questioning things I did not understand. This all taught me to keep my mouth shut and fear being me, because school and learning seemed to be about what these teachers had to say to you and it was my responsibility to function the way many of my dysfunctional teachers would tell us how to behave and that was usually about allowing them to speak to you in any manner they wish and answering they way they wanted. What I was actually learning would be the arrogance of those too weak to know confidence and the desire of attention of those too unfortunate to know the true power of earning respect. I learned and experienced first hand the painful ignorance of arrogance and the grotesque foolishness of those who seek attention by watching many, not all, of my teachers throughout my most impressionable years set these examples of themselves. Beginning my schooling in schools with an abundance of “educators” more concerned with gossiping and tenures created an intense internal confusion when learning about how to learn. After all, I am a respectful daughter and above all else, my parents always taught me to respect authority because they raised me in a household where I was taught about respect through the examples they taught through their actions.
I am Chinese American and in my culture The Teacher is the most honored and respected by society. I learned this because of how my father spoke of his teacher and how my father behaved at home with us. He is a pillar of respect, he is humanity, golden and he has always said “Forget what people say, watch what they do, this way you are never fooled by the words people sometimes have no real meaning for.”. My father always seemed quiet to me and he was, but in this way where I always wanted to listen to him when he wasn’t saying anything. I remember always watching him create and swim through curiosity in a way that always made life feel like a beautiful beach. Dad would soak up information and come home and always improve on the ideas he had experienced. He looks at life as ways of always improving where we discover ourselves to be at, because thats what makes life perfect, following the natural way, which is that nothing is perfect and this is what makes everything beautifully unique. No matter what, your purpose is to improve on who you are and who you are is rooted in how much you choose to actively improve on yourself.
Can you believe this is why I thought my dad was crazy growing-up? I was taught to respect my teachers because of not only what my parents said to me as far as rules were concerned, but I learned by the examples my parents taught me through their actions. My parents always showed respect and taught me the purity and joy of giving respect. There’s something that just feels so good and whole when it comes to the act of showing respect. I think I like the feeling of it so much, because it makes other people feel good to receive this and it is also a way I can show that I respect and love where I come from. It costs no money and requires no money, but it is the richest feeling in the world, because it reminds me of where I am so fortunate to come from. The same teachers I blindly respected in school so much, because of what my parents taught me growing-up were the confusion of my mind’s eye when it came to understanding the true art of learning. Most, not all of my school teachers taught in way where learning was about staying in a box and if you ventured outside of that box you weren’t only crazy in a bad way, you were stupid and yes, I have had teachers actually tell me I was stupid when I questioned not understanding what it was they were saying to the class and that was just some of the nicer critiques I received growing-up, in school.
Fast forward to later years and I finally begin to realize how much fun learning is actually meant to be when I realized that dad isn’t just my dad he is also my teacher. I can learn from this guy who never takes sides of right and wrong. He never sees things as black and white because he is a rainbow of self discovery and intrigue that never stops. He is in the most blissful state of joy when he is working on figuring things out and he is on fire when he is helping us all learn how to think in his classroom. He thirsts for questions from his students and has always welcomed being challenged and this is where I think I learned to love being challenged and bored by anything that is just easy.
Looking for the challenges in life is what makes life beautiful, it gives you color, it gives texture, it re-infuses you with life, constantly renewed. Challenges teach you about who you really are and where you need to improve. Challenges keep you humble in way that makes you feel outstandingly exuberant. Challenging yourself keeps you honest. Nothing is more real than the love found from the unique beauty of every single Challenge. The more you Challenge yourself, the more you find yourself.
I think it is the classic American School System which directed me towards my intrigue with sports and athletics and I think it was also why my father and mother kept me involved with Sports and Athletics along with every other activity under the sun, because children are wired to learn themselves through experiences and if you are living your life right, you are always a curious child in some way. Sports and Athletics speak to feeling in a way most classrooms can’t. This was the language that I could get. The language of Action, which is The Essence of Life. Everybody loves to feel and we thrive in life when we are feeling good. That is why not feeling good is also life telling you, you need to change where you’re at, even you have gotten used to not feeling good, it’s still bad for you and I hope you can make the changes you need to feel better.
If you are lucky, you will never grow-up. Once you stop growing, you die, that’s the natural way. If you surround yourself with people who are ignorant of growth and look to always place blame and/or fault outside of themselves all the time, they are a kind of pesticide, which is why, if you are permanently growing, you will feel repelled by these people. However, stay around these people too long and you will find yourself a victim of their poison too, negativity is an infectious disease and it kills slowly and painfully in a way that makes death look enticing.
I have always loved my parents for the foundations of love and respect they have instilled in me. I learned about respect because I grew up seeing it’s example. I was put in my place when I was disrespectful, but I also had it explained to me. I saw my parents disagree, but somehow always in a way where their disagreements were expressed respectfully. My parents apologized to each other when they were wrong to each other and express gratitude and love for both their disagreements and agreements, this is how I have always been taught respect and unconditional love.
Always do what you say. Say what you mean. Understand that there are several versions of the same story and find a way to respect and extract the lesson from them all. Surround yourself with people who respectfully challenge you and always respectfully understand the condition of others, even if that show of respect must mean your absence.
You have no control over how people might manipulate the pallet of who they are, but once they show you their true colors, believe them and if its not beautiful, you have been given the gift of the ugly truth. People are who they are, they never change, but you can always change the people who you surround yourself with.
Your feeling state is your most honest state. You will never lie to you.