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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father’s Day Meditations and Quotations

By Nicholas Stix

[Postscript: When I asked my 17-year-old chief of research what the most important rule in fatherhood is, he offered, "Don't drop the baby."

Another positive rule occurred to me that I offered to my older sister a few months ago, who also only has one kid: You gotta have backup children.]
 


Fatherhood is one of those things where it seems everyone is an expert, especially, as my mom likes to say, people who never had kids.

It breaks philosophy because for every rule one might formulate, there are exceptions that, whether one or 1,000, make the rule seem foolish or invalid.

One can still come up with unobjectionable maxims—love your children—but they are vacuous.

How to be a good father can’t be taught directly, though there are countless flesh-and-blood lessons on how not to be a father:

• Don’t have children with crazy, wicked, or evil women
• Don’t leave your children physically unprotected (that rule includes, Don’t desert your children)
• Don’t let your children go hungry or thirsty
• Use balance in disciplining your children
• Don’t have children if you have no means of supporting them; and
• If you are not father material, make sure not to have children.

If there are any positive rules about fatherhood, they are:

• Have children with females who are maternally oriented; paradoxically, trust your gut; and above all, be lucky, for as old ballplayers like Keith Hernandez like to say, “It’s better to be lucky than good.”


Quotes on Fatherhood

The first is via Brainy Quote. The next six, are courtesy of Quotery.

Fatherhood is great because you can ruin someone from scratch.
Jon Stewart


My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.”
Harmon Killebrew


Guns don’t kill people, dads with daughters do.
Anonymous


One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.
George Herbert


I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.
Sigmund Freud


When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.
Yiddish Proverb


When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Mark Twain


Father and Son

Many years ago... many, many years ago, I brought up a boy, and I said to him, “Son, if you ever become a writer, try to write a good part for your old man sometime.” Well, by cracky, that's what he did!

Walter Huston’s speech, upon winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1949, for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was adapted and directed by his son, John.

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