My father is an amazing storyteller who must one day sit down and write his own book. Researching, learning and sharing his knowledge are his guiding principles in life. Every time I talk to him, he shares new information he’s uncovered. His interest lies in a variety of different subjects from science to anthropology, history, social commentary and good Turkish TV shows to watch.
It’s his passion for learning and curating information he finds valuable that got him into a career in broadcasting. Dad is a major inspiration for me writing these articles and using innovative approaches such as video readings to share them across the internet. For example, today, I will work with my brother to record a reading of this praise of dad’s life’s work.
Before I get down to the list of the three things, I should point out that me being here today and working with my brother to share this article with you is also dad’s doing. Of course, it’s obvious that without dad there’d be no Brother, but it was also dad’s intention that I get over my jealousy of my younger sibling and that we work together in some capacity. So here we are, hopefully making dad proud.
This brings me to one of the earliest recollections I have of dad sharing a life lesson with me. He would show one hand and ask “what does one hand have?” and then he’d show both hands and clap them and tell us that two hands can make noise. Of course, if you want to get smart, you can snap the fingers of your one hand to make noise but then you wouldn’t be using one finger, right? The point is that a single person in isolation has no impact. It’s our relationships with each other that materialise new things into existence like the sound that comes from hitting two things against each other, or the friction between the fingers to create the snap.
How to Crack Walnuts
The other really neat trick dad showed me was how to break walnuts in the palms of his hand. He’d get two walnuts and use their hardness to allow the walnuts to break each other. This worked best if both walnuts were as hard as the other. When their hardness was matched, in Turkish we call these types “cetin ceviz”, both walnuts would crack open revealing their kernel. I think this is how it works with people in relationships too. All people have to be as powerful as the other to bring out the others’ best qualities.
I’m glad this is how my relationship is with my mum, dad and brother. We are all as strong-minded as each other and can challenge all parties to think better and to bring their best game to the table, or to AEEA, which is our Facebook family chat that I’m glad I started a while back.
The Power of Story
When I started writing, it was because I was inspired by the authors dad brought into my life who wrote intriguing stories. There was Jack London with “Call of the Wild” about a domestic dog having to learn the rules of nature to survive and thrive in the tough wilderness of the arctic and O. Henry with twist ends to his short stories and Charles Dickens who weaved elements of coincidence to lift up impoverished orphaned children to hero status.
Dad not only provided the books but also took the time to read them to me. It makes all the difference that he read them out loud because I became very curious about all the books lying around the house and I started reading them myself.
Me reading my article here today is inspired by dad taking the time to read to me. Who knows? Maybe you, the listener will go through the rest of my articles and read them for yourself and share them with someone who can use my words in their life?
Finding True Value
Dad never bought into the magic of advertising or all the brand-building activities that well-known companies put out. I remember we’d gone and seen the first Batman movie (in 1989) because it was marketed so well and were severely disappointed that it turned out to be sloppily slapped together and hence made little sense.
As children, were also advised to stay away from the expensive brands by our father. He’d explain to us that the reason brands are expensive is because the customer pays for their advertising costs too. So we’d find all the well-made alternatives that weren’t recognised brands and to this day I own very few clothing with logos. The glaring exception being my new Adidas sneakers which I find to look good and are so comfortable and am happy to have spent the money on them after seeing how long they last as I have friends who’d been wearing them for nearly a decade.
Dad, sometimes you gotta just say it’s worth it and splurge on something you know is good quality. Life is too short to not enjoy some of these luxuries. Thank you for all the teachings, especially the walnuts. I wish I could find whole walnuts these days. Why wouldn’t they sell them in their shells? It’s an important part of the walnut experience to break them out of their shells, to work for them and I hate being deprived because then there’s one less thing in the world that takes me back to the wonder years of childhood.
Over to you..
What are some things you learned from your father? How are your father’s teachings guiding you and offering some ease as you tackle challenges? E-mail me to tell me all about it, eda@WritePublishGrow.com