Fathers Day.

Lessons from the Great Bai Laoshi

I call my dad Bai Laoshi. Translation: Professor Bourgerie in Chinese. He has taught many people a lot of stuff. Chinese, Cantonese, Syntax, Asian Stuff, you know, the usual.

In addition to all of that, he has taught me some pretty amazing life lessons. Here is a list of the top 5 things I have learned from Bai Laoshi.

  1. RESPECT. Respect your parents. Respect your teachers. Respect authority. Respect your elders. It is better to be too respectful than not enough.
  2. LOVE OF LEARNING. My dad is smart. He loves to learn. He has taught me to be interested in that around me. He knows so much that in order to keep up with him in conversation, I am always reading. When I was in 3rd grade my dad, apparently unsatisfied with my reading skills, asked my teacher if there was anything he could do to help my “mediocre” reading skills. The teacher, baffled, told him that I was reading at a junior high level. She was very nice to me after that. She realized what I was up against at home. It was a good thing though really, having high expectations set of you at home. It brings me to my next lesson, which is…
  3. ALWAYS KEEP CHALLENGING YOURSELF. Never be satisfied with mediocrity. Keep stretching your mind and yourself physically. Not in a bad way, where you think nothing you do is good enough, but just that you always push yourself to do more. My dad rides his bike all over the canyon and Utah Valley like it ain’t no thang. He is always pushing himself to be better.
  4. IF YOU GET CAUGHT, ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE. Sometimes, you are doing something completely wrong, and you know it, and you get caught. Usually the deserved punishment comes after. However, if you have a really brazen excuse, he might just let you off the hook because he is so baffled at your shamelessness. Example- Dad: “Annie, don’t use my new iPod. (they had just been invented). 1 hour later. Me: Listening to my Dad’s new iPod. “Hey Friend! Check out my Dad’s new iPod!” Dad enters the room. Dad: “What are you doing?” Me: I… accidentally was listening to it Dad.” Dad: “The headphones accidentally just fell in your ears and you started listening?” Me: “Yep. That is exactly what happened.” Dad takes his iPod and walks away.
  5. DON’T BE AFRAID. I was afraid of a lot of things as a kid. When I would come to my dad with my fears, he was always so calm. We were hiking in the Grand Canyon, and I was afraid of the heights. He calmly said, “Respect the heights. Stay toward the canyon wall.” Like it was so simple. It was. I stayed away and I was fine. My dad has such a simple answer for my fears, that I wonder why I was ever afraid of it to begin with.

My dad is pretty awesome. Happy Fathers Day!

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