Things I Learned From my Dad

by C. Mirriam Pascual, @serluz25

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Everything I needed to know in life I learned from my dad… sounds like a title of a book, it easily could be. Don Juan as many people call him today (Juan Yumba as his friends from youth call him and Juan Pascual as those that respect him call him) is my dad, a man wise beyond his years and very smart in all of life’s issues. A man with more education than many of today’s top scholars, yet his education comes from life and a very clear vision. I can’t believe the time has come for me to agree whole heartily with his teachings but here goes. My dad taught me so many life lessons that I have passed on to my daughters and grandson.

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

Some of the most important lessons were:

Never trust a person that doesn’t look you in the eye. This is a winner!

The answer to most questions should be” let me think about it”. This was always the answer I got when I asked for something growing up and this is always the answer I gave my kids. It is the answer that saves me from unwise responses all of my life. My dad’s logic is when you are asked a question and you are quick to respond sometimes you may get yourself into situations you are not prepared for. By saying let me think about it you give yourself time to analyze your response to the point you are satisfied with it.

The dinner table is for family bonding, more so than for eating. At home we ate at the dinner table every night there was to be no television no distractions, it was a place to sit and discuss family issues, even when I wasn’t old enough to actually discuss anything, it was understood that the dinner table was for bonding. Today my dinner table is always set always inviting my family to sit and bond, Thanks Dad! Some of my most precious moments with my family have been around the dinner table.

Always smile it is your best asset and your greatest weapon. Again thanks Dad a smile has gained me the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people and a smile has been my greatest weapon in tough situations in life.

Learn the art of holding doors. The correct way of entering and exiting an establishment standing aside, not blocking the isles, doorways…. These lessons cause me so much aggravation as a child, but more so as an adult because I can still hear him to this day… the correct way to enter an establishment is to wait on the right site for those that are exiting. Always look behind you and hold the door for the next person.
This is where I ask myself why others couldn’t have had a Don Juan teaching them these simple life lessons. When I am at work and a bigwig rushes in thru the door that I have opened for myself as I balance my breakfast, the security key, documents, countless packages and the door without so much as a backward glance. I want to scream you classless idiot! Did no one teach you how to hold the doors or at least not rush in while someone else opened it for themselves?

Never litter, Don Juan was always very strict about this one, you must contribute to the cleanliness of the community. There is no reason in the world to toss trash on the ground none! My daughters learnt this same way I learned… it was ingrained.

To be heard you do not need to raise your voice. People that need to scream to be heard usually have nothing substantial to say or have not learned the art of communication. It is a very unpleasant habit, and makes you look like an uneducated fool. Unless you need to yell fire to save someone’s life always use your inside voice.

As a kid I thought my dad had the craziest rules and most of the times I wanted to roll my eyes and say but Dad you don’t understand, you are just too old fashion and strict (of course with Don Juan there was to be no eye rolling ever)! Today I appreciate all of his lessons and wish there were more men like him who took the time to point out what having class and education was all about.

Thanks dad! Happy Father’s Day

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