The year before my father passed away, he would ask me to come and visit him often; he would tell me that there were so many things he just needed to tell me before time ran out. Sometimes it would be advice on life, other times it would be stories of the old days, but most of his stories were delivered in ways which would require the listener to ponder the hidden meanings behind the words.Every generation learns from the ones that came before; it is our elders who help raise and inspire us to become the people we are today. Listening to the lessons and advice of our elders ensures that we ourselves can (hopefully) avoid the mistakes and pitfalls of our previous generation, and likewise, we too will pass on what we have learned to future generations. Before my father passed away, he asked me to help him to set up a blog. Sadly, after doing so, he never found the time to write anything on his blog as he was far too busy trying to finish his second novel.
I wish I had more time in which to listen to his amazing advice, of which he gained from his personal experience of some 97 years of life.
My father used to tell me stories of his involvement in World War II, specifically the Manhattan Project, but unfortunately most of his involvement he claimed to still be classified, so the very little amount of information he did reveal to me is still difficult to research and confirm.
A few bits of wisdom my father did impart to me include the following; observations and advice that are guaranteed to occur throughout the lives of people of any generation.
WAR AND CONFLICT
My father told me that every generation will see it’s share of war and conflict. Not a single generation living in the United States has ever lived without seeing at least one war or conflict in which the United States government has been involved in. My father lived through a world war, and countless other wars and conflicts within his lifetime.
Every generation will see some sort of hardship. Even if not necessarily within ones own country, but somewhere in the world, every generation will see at least some varying degree of famine, food shortage, economic collapse or other hardship. My father lived through the great depression in the United States during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
My father used to tell me that not everybody is who they appear to be. Often times, people will make themselves appear to be who they want others to see them to be. Accordingly, sometimes in life we will think of someone in a certain way, usually positive, only to find out, usually too late, that they are not the person we hoped or believed them to be.
CAREER / PRODUCTIVITY
If nothing else, my father was an overachiever. He took notes obsessively. My father always told me to do what you love, and love what you do; more specifically, when doing your job, you should only do it if you would continue to do it unpaid. In other words, you should always choose a career that you enjoy.
My father told me about things that go on behind the scenes. Specifically, his work as part of the Manhattan Project; people were intentionally exposed to radioactive materials against their will to test the effects. Here’s a great documentary video on the subject.
Education and educational achievement have nothing at all do with a persons intelligence. To become intelligent, one must continue learning over the course of their lifetime. Perhaps the greatest mistake people make is to stop pursuing an education after obtaining a degree or educational achievement. My father spent much of his time learning all that he could, up until the day he passed away.
As in life, there is much more going on that remains unseen, unexplained, or simply never talked about. Although my father stoically dismissed the notion of UFO’s, ghosts, extra-terrestrials, and all the so-called government experiments gone wrong that circulate the Internet, he once said that there is much more out there than the majority of people know about or believe to exist.