Fatherhood is defined as the state of having one or more children. Having a son and spending time with your son, taking him to games and getting to know him, is an example of fatherhood. (yourdictionary.com)
In a society where men have abdicated their roles, I am blessed to have a man in life. A man who has stood all tests of time and proven consistent in every area of his life.
A minister of the REAL word of God, humorous, hardworking, wise, great boyfriend to my mother, a great father, grandfather, uncle, brother, son and a sight to be hold in matters style and fashion.
I came to the knowledge of this man some 30+ years ago. As a first born child, I am proud to say that because of me, a young PAUL gained the title FATHER.
To avoid flowing with new definitions on who a father and mother are, I refer to this Wikipedia definition, “A father is the male parent of a child. Besides the paternal bonds of a father to his children, the father may have a parental, legal, and social relationship with the child that carries with it certain rights and obligations.”
I have very fond memories of this man PAUL. He is 99.9% responsible for the man I turned out to be. The 0.1% is for the crazy side that he has nothing to do with. A part only few get to know about me.
Here are the 8 most important lessons I learnt from my father :
- Dress to impress.
Despite our humbling background, my father always ensured we were the best-dressed children in Kangemi. Whether we were going to the shop near us or to the church 3 KM away, you had to look good. This is the number one lesson that has stuck with me to adulthood. You are not what you say you are, your appearance has a way of speaking before you do.
- Own up to responsibility and be accountable for your actions.
With independence comes responsibility and accountability, he always reiterated. I remember a case in point was when my daughter’s estimated due date (EDD) was near and I had no idea what was expected of me at that point. I called my Dad up to ask for guidance since he always has a solution to everything. His words that still linger in my mind were, “You are no longer a boy, my son. You have to man up and ensure that my daughter and her baby get to the hospital first before we continue with this phone call”.
- Humility is a critical part of success in life.
No matter how high my career, wealth, the network grows always remember your humble beginnings in the slums. Never allow materialism to get into your head. He always quips, “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”
Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life–and maybe even please a few strangers. – A.L. Kennedy
- Be there for your children.
The attention and love that comes with the presence of a father figure in the lives of the children can never be replaced with anything in the world. No matter how many gifts you buy your children, presence beats everything. Family is fundamental, and love is the foundation.
- Respect the sweeper as you would the CEO.
My dad started out his career at the lowest cadre in employment in the now-defunct Nairobi City Council until his retirement. Before that, he tilled his father’s land, swept the streets, fought with street urchins as he sold second-hand papers on Kirinyaga Road to ensure I went to the prestigious Catholic Parochial School in the city center. What has always been clear with him is that everyone deserves the same respect. While it is nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice.
- Your network is your net worth.
Cliché as it sounds, you are the total sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with. If you are in a group of 5 millionaires, you will outrightly become the sixth. I have carried this lesson with me all my life and have found that the reverse is also true. Some of the people we surround ourselves would rather be caught dead than mention our names in rooms full of opportunities. Change your circle.
- Don’t take life too seriously.
No matter how serious you take life, no one is getting out of it alive. Keep moving. Let it go. Thrive. Enjoy things as they come. Challenges arise, but so does the strength to surmount those hurdles. Never close your door to new experiences in your life because of past experiences. Be it in your job, business, or relationship, live for now.
- Live. Love. Laugh.
Learn from your past. I always appreciate the experiences I have had. Don’t think about what-ifs. Love with your whole heart. Be remembered for giving out your whole self to the world. Laugh at your self. Laugh at your circumstances. Laugh some more.
Walter M. Schirra, Sr. quotes, “You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”
I am glad to have someone in my life I can emulate in my own journey as a father.
Happy Father’s Day!
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