It takes a bit of nerve to share unsolicited advice. This fact does not go unnoticed. Nor did it go unnoticed this past week when I shared some thoughts with the son of a friend of mine. The son had just turned 21 and it felt like sharing some thoughts may potentially mean something.
Years ago when I was an older teenager trying to connect with my dad and mom I was the recipient of some unsolicited advice on more than just a few occasions. At the time most of it probably poured into one ear and out the other faster than small-town gossip makes into local happenings section of the weekly reader.
Occasionally a few of the words would sink in. Sometimes at the moment, sometimes not till much later.
With that intro, here is the advice I shared with the son of a friend.
UNSOLCITED ADVICE TO A FRIEND’S SON
Z – You were a teen the one time I remember meeting you when you lived in Cache Valley. While I don’t know you, I know your dad and I’m honored by his love and friendship.
His faith uplifts me.
His vision compels me to see further.
His kindness is a gift of blessed grace.
If one who is of the same generation as your dad may share a little bit of counsel, here are three tidbits for consideration.
LISTEN – Listen to your dad, especially when you don’t want to, and pay attention to his example. His wisdom is greater than any words he may share.
LOVE – Love and encourage your dad and pray for him. Sometimes life can be extra tough and dads, just like kids, can use hope. Few acts show greater love and compassion.
TIME – Spend time with your dad. In the quest to expand your wings, remember your roots and intentionally choose to spend meaningful time with him.
THEN I EXTENDED AN INVITATION TO THE SON
Now that I’ve had my turn — thank you — I wonder if you may have some wisdom to share with me. We of the older generation can benefit more than we realize from the perspective of youth.
Please share away my friend! And don’t worry about your old man. I won’t share a word of this with him. Well, unless you really want me to!
AND THAT WAS THE ADVICE I SHARED
Now here’s my question for you. Two questions actually.
#1 How did I do???
I’m not asking for validation for what I shared. But I am asking if it feels like what I shared is something you feel would connect with a 21 son.
Maybe even your son, or daughter, however old they are.
Or maybe even yourself.
#2 How would you respond if this advice was shared with you???
As I think about the advice of Listening, giving Love, and spending Time with a parent, I easily wish I had more of each to give to my parents.
Still applicable, is the request I extended for the young man to share some wisdom with me. While I do not know if he will share anything, I do know I have five incredible kids of my own who have great wisdom to share with me.
WISDOM FROM A DAUGHTER
Such wisdom was shared with me Friday night from my daughter Leslie (who just happens to be 22 as of last month).
We were out on a daddy/daughter date. She picked the night and I picked the activity. We started with sandwiches, chips, and cookies from Old Grist Mill in Logan (absolutely delicious!) then headed out west to the perfect place in Cache Valley to watch the sunset, according to Julie Hollist Terrill in her book “117 Things To Do In Cache Valley.”
The sunset from the Lower Bear River Outlook is spectacular. Check it out yourself. Here’s the location.
Even better than the sunset was the conversation with Leslie. To stimulate some conversation (not that it is hard for us to talk at all), I printed out questions we could ask each other.
Some of the questions were fun, like when she asked me what I remember about my grandfathers (Grandpa Patterson had a hook in place of a missing arm he liked to pinch my nose with). And some of the questions were deeper, like when I asked Leslie what she needed from me.
Her first answer was she felt I gave her mostly what she needed. But after quite a while, well after we left the overlook and were driving around Newton enjoying the beautiful farmland and sharing more stories, Leslie said she knew what she needed from me.
“Be More Present.”
She did say I was much better at being present than I had when she and her sibs were younger while encouraging me to be even more present. Then she kept sharing her heart which is one of her greatest gifts that shows how much she loves me.
Talk about wisdom! First she lifts me up, kindly encourages me, then fills me with abundant love. Maybe all us parents should listen to our kids more, even when they say the darndest things! Check out the advice this 5 year old kid gave to his 10 year old self!
Thanks Leslie for the wisdom!
Ironically, back to my parents, though they have both been gone for some years now, I still find myself listening to what they shared with me.
Mom – “It could Always Be Worse.”
Dad – “Keep Your Chin Up Son.”
How about you… What wisdom are you listening to from those who have passed on??? And those from the younger generation still around???
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to share some of your grounding memories.
Lead Photo by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
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