Objective: The Flags of our Fathers!

Discussion in 'The Mature Man' started by Victory Unlimited, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    This article originally appeared at the link below:
    http://victoryunlimitedshow.com/general/the-flags-of-our-fathers/



    The Flags of our Fathers


    Another Father’s Day is here!

    It’s been a whole year, but now it’s time once again for dads to get the appreciation, the recognition, and the respect that some of them never get at any other time. It’s another day for kids, friends, girlfriends, and wives to celebrate the dads in their lives. However, other than the mere exchange of gifts, what does this day really mean to you?

    If you’re a son fortunate enough to still have his father in his life, maybe you think of it as just another day to take the old man out to eat steak at his favorite restaurant. Or, if you’re a father yourself, maybe you think of it as just another day for you to act “surprised” when you open up that gift-wrapped package with that latest electronic gadget tucked inside. You know what I’m talking about. The one that you’ve been dropping hints about for the past three weeks. Yes, for you, Father’s Day will definitely be a good day.

    But for just as many men, Father’s Day also represents something else: A memory---a memory of a much-loved father who may have passed away. Yes, that can make it a bittersweet memory, but its still a fond memory just the same. This article is written in honor of all of our fathers---those who are still with us and those who have passed on.

    Long after we become adults, the flags of our fathers, the words they’ve spoken into our lives, still wave prominently in the background of our lives. Some of those words were words of wisdom, while others were words of whimsy. In honor of this day, and in hopes it’ll help you reconnect to your own fond memories, I’d like to share with you some of the most memorable quotes from my own father and grandfather---along with my present day interpretation of what they meant.
     
  2. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    My Dad, though a man of a very few words, tended to make most of them count---especially whenever he thought it was time to deploy a few weapons of wisdom on my behalf. He was a very serious man, a military veteran who found himself pressed into service just as much as a civilian as he did when he was an enlisted man. He was no nonsense, very direct, and always sincere.



    Things my father said…
    • Believe what people do instead of what they say, especially when what they say isn’t ever what they do. (Ignore most advice that people give you when you don’t ever see them following it themselves)
    • If bullies pick on you, beat the hell out of the biggest one first, and then all the rest of them will leave you alone. (This used to work pretty good for us little boys “back in the day”, but I often wonder how well it works now---in these days when you hear about so many kids bringing guns to fist fights…)
    • Anything that you can’t say “no” too is your master and you are it’s slave. (Enough said.)
    • No woman is ever gonna love you like your mother, so don’t expect her to. (He told me this while I was still reeling from a particularly bad teenage breakup. That was the first time I learned by experience the difference between conditional and unconditional love.)
    • The day will come when you’ll feel like life is trying to take everything you’ve got, and the only thing you’ll have left to hold onto is your self-respect. (Didn’t understand what he meant when he said it, but now I do. Better to die on your feet than live life on your knees---disgusted every time you look at the man in the mirror.)
    • What you think is so important to you right now probably won’t be a few years from now, so just keep living…(Always keep things in perspective. Isn’t it amazing just how much time can influence your point of view and sometimes entirely change the way you think?)
    • Most people in life that you call your friends will only turn out to be associates. You’ll be lucky if you have more than a handful of true friends your entire life. (I remember exactly when my Dad said this to me. I had just started working on my very first real job. I was really surprised at how well I got along with all my coworkers, so I told him about it when I got home. That’s when he dropped that whole friends/associates bomb on me. Didn’t exactly get what he meant when he said it, but now I understand if perfectly. He was right. Decades after I left that job, I only have one true friend that still remains from out of all the people I met there.)
    • The woman that you choose to marry will say more about who you are than the job that you choose to work. (I figure what he meant by this was that sometimes you have to work “somewhere” just to eat, have a place to stay, and take care of yourself. By contrast, picking the woman who’ll be your ally for life is a far more critical decision than most men realize.)
    • It’s easier to act like a man when you’re standing in front of people than it is to be a man when nobody is looking. (A stronger foundation for true character is built by working from the inside out, not the other way around.)
    • The two biggest problems you’ll face in life is getting money and getting women. But if you can get money first, then getting women will be a lot easier. (When he first told me this, I had no comment. I still have no comment. I’m speechless. I am without speech. Anyway, moving on…)
    • Always take care of your health, son. Because if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. (A rather extreme statement, but I understood why he said it. Unfortunately, he told me this after suffering from the aftereffects of a heart attack, then followed by a stroke later in his life.)
    • Never let the people you work with know how to push your buttons. Better yet, remove your buttons so they’ll never have anything to push. (Thriving, and even just surviving in the workplace is more like playing chess than checkers. You sabotage your ability to make bold, strategic moves every time you let yourself be put in “react” mode. It’s usually better to make workplace decisions from a state of emotion control than emotion out-of-control.)
    • What you do for a living is not who you are, it just pays for what you want to do. (Or, like my ally Dr. Vibe always says, “Money is not the mission, it only funds the mission!)
    • Never let the wrong woman know how much time or money you have. Because once you tell her, she’ll find a way to help you waste both of them.(Enough said.)
    • Hey, if this $hit was so hard to do, you wouldn’t see so many people out here doing it! (This is what my dad said about almost everything. This was especially the case whenever I was trying something new---like learning how to drive, working and going to school at the same time, or striking up conversations with the prettiest girls. Interestingly, later on, as an adult, I heard a friend of mine use the same phrase, and it immediately made me remember where I heard it first.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
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  3. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    My Granddad was a hardworking, blue collar man who was known to say whatever came to his mind---whether you were ready for it or not. Indeed, he dropped his own fair share of knowledge bombs over the years too. Some of his advice was good. Some of it was great. And some of it was just plain funny.



    Things my grandfather said…

    • Just ‘cause you think you know it all don’t mean you have to tell it all. (Nobody really likes or respects a guy who has diarrhea of the mouth. Not to mention that running your mouth all the time can be just plain stupid.)
    • When you meet the right woman for you, she'll be the one who changes your life for the better. (Enough said.)

    • Never ignore or make fun of all those awkward, not-so-good-looking, little girls that you grow up with, because a lot of those same little girls will grow up and become gorgeous overnight. This usually happens over a summer while they’re still in high school, and when it does, they’ll always remember those guys who were nice to them before! (If there was ever some advice that I was glad I followed when I was a high school boy, it was this! Ah, what fond memories come to mind…)
    • There’s no such thing as common sense. (I used to try to argue with my granddad about this, but I had to concede that he was actually right. What he was saying is that what’s common to some is not common to all. In the most literal sense, shared experiences and the knowledge gained from them have to be perceived exactly the same way for each person’s understanding of that experience to be identical. That’s the only way for the concept of “common sense” to be true---isn’t it? Wait a minute; did I just get a little too deep on this one? Maybe so. Well anyway, moving on to the next quote…)
    • Even people who say they don’t believe in God will find a way to believe in miracles---when they need one. (I think what he meant by this was that people will always believe in something, it’s only “what” they believe in that’s subject to change.)
    • Every tub sits on it’s own bottom. (Oh, I know what you’re thinking…WTF?? It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that what he was saying was just an old school, dirty-south way of saying something similar to “Water seeks it’s own level.” Or, “Birds of a feather flock together”. And so on, and so on.)
    • A hard head makes a soft behind. (Either learn things the easy way by listening or learn them the hard way by suffering the consequences of not listening.)
    • Boy! If you don’t act right, you’d better! (This was my granddad’s way of keeping me in line. Notice, how what he said at first “seems” like he was actually giving me a choice, but of course, he really was not.)
    • As long as you still got your money in your pocket, you’ve got the right to demand the service that you deserve. (As a 9-year-old boy, I once watched my granddad make an irritated, racist butcher at a grocery store slice meat three times before he finally cut it the way my granddad initially asked him to. I recall feeling uncomfortable during the situation, but I remember my granddad only being completely calm and confident.)
    • Look, I done already told you once. Now if I have to tell you again, it’s gonna be by hand…(Sometimes, when he knew I was pretending not to hear what he was telling me, that was his way of letting me know that he was always ready to crack open a fresh can of Whoop Ass---just for me…)
    • Nah, I don’t want no “rabbit food”. I wanna eat something that’s gonna make a turd. (That was my granddad’s patented reply to anybody who had the nerve to try to get him to eat a salad. You can imagine how "endearing" this was to my grandmamma whenever he used that line while dining out at upscale restaurants.)
    • Get the most out of your life now, because the older you get, the faster time flies. (Thinking we have all the time in the world is a misconception that we all realize eventually, and the sooner we realize it, the better.)
    So there you have it. Though my father and grandfather have both passed away, their memory, their wisdom, and their wit still live on. And even though I miss them dearly, my love and appreciation for them remains undying---and today I proudly "fly their flags".


    Happy Father's Day!


    V.U.
     
  4. disgustipated

    disgustipated Master Don Juan

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    Great post. I am always envious of guys who had fathers and grandpas who shared such things.

    Whenever I'm backsliding and feeling a bit down I try to remember I had no one like this helping me....had to learn on my own. My gramps was the closest thing but I didn't get much time with him. I can take good things away from your posts. Thanks for sharing these personal things.
     
  5. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    Disgustipated,

    Yeah, I was actually raised by my granddad and grandmom. My dad and my mom were both mostly peripheral figures in my life. Hanging out with my granddad while I was growing up is what gave me my love for comic books, old TV shows, westerns, and war movies. He was a big movie buff.

    I remember being 8 or 9 years old outside playing with the other lil' guys in my neighborhood until about five o'clock in the summer time. I knew whenever it was five o'clock because that's when I used to see my granddad a far off, getting off the bus after a long day of work.

    Our weekday routine was for him to come home, talk to my grandmom for a little bit, then he'd change out of his work clothes into his "at-home" clothes and we'd check out various TV show reruns that started @ 5:30pm. We used to laugh and watch old shows like The Rat Patrol, Batman, and Hogan's Heroes all the time.

    One thing I remember most vividly was we always assumed our TV-watching "positions". He used to prefer to sit on the floor with his back against the left side of the couch, while I always used to sit actually "on" the right side of the couch while my grandmom was in the kitchen whipping up something for all of us to eat. Life was FAR from easy or perfect---but I remember those being good times for me.

    On the other hand, I got to know my dad much better after I became an adult. The older he got, the more I understood him, and the better we were able to relate to each other.

    My granddad died many years ago and my dad died just a few years ago. I loved and appreciated them both---but in different ways and for different reasons. They both had their vices, short-comings, good sides, and bad sides. But I know that both the good (and not-so-good) impacts that they had on my life HELPED make me who I am today. Of course, neither one of them were perfect, but I'm grateful for everything that they ever taught me about manhood.

    But just like them, I'm finding that the pursuit of Manhood (see---"POSITIVE" masculinity) is a LIFELONG mission.

    ...and I remain committed to keep SOLDIERING ON.
     
  6. Stagger Lee

    Stagger Lee Master Don Juan

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    This is just awesome VU. My dad also passed away a couple years ago too. While he wasn't a positive influence to say the least, I don't trash him now that he's gone like some of my siblings tend to do. That's why that's as far as I'll go to say anything negative and I don't even like to do that.

    A lot of wise sayings from your father, all things that I eventually concluded as well.
     
  7. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    Happy Father's Day to you, So Suave Soldiers!

    Missing my Dad and Granddad a little bit right now.

    Wondering in what ways things might be different in my life these days if they were still here---but very GRATEFUL for the positive ways they impacted my life while they WERE still here...

    PEACE.


    V.U.
     
  8. romangod

    romangod Master Don Juan

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    Super posts as always V.U.

    Ive been thinking of my late father today, as well. He passed just over 2 years ago and I reflect on him often both good and bad.

    Of his 5 kids I probably spent the most time with him, especially as we both got older. I had the pleasure of traveling with him to Europe later in his life and they were some of the most poignant chapters in my personal journey. I'll reflect on one journey here as much for me as anyone that reads it.

    In 1991 I chaperoned him to Dusseldorf, Germany for a 50th reunion of his wartime comrades. They were meeting in Germany because their homeland that they fought for was now communist and my dad and his comrades fought against them for King, God and country. They lost and were betrayed as many of them believed and had to flee for their lives. It was fascinating seeing and feeling the emotions as well as participating in the various memorials, banquets and church services.

    There I got to meet the man whom I was named after and became proud to be his namesake. This man was the most lively, joyful and positive man that I have met to this day. He was never without a smile and never seemed to be in a down mood. This might not seem so rare to some but considering what his cross to bear was, he carried it with courage, class and dignity.

    What was his cross?

    He had no legs.

    He had lost them both in the war and escaped certain death without the use of his lower appendages. That alone was enough to look at him in awe but his lack of self-pity, negativity and his positively charming disposition made him a hero in my eyes. I was proud to be his namesake. He now had 2 artificial legs and moved quite well with the use of 2 canes.

    Like my father, he ended up in Germany as a displaced person (DP). There he got married and had 2 sons who were both around my age. How does a man with no legs muster up the courage to seek himself a wife? Easy. He simply put an ad in the paper and lo and behold it was answered by his now wife.

    I met her also and she was one of the finest ladies I had ever acquainted. Loyal, modest and caring were the first impressions that struck me. It strikes me how little those virtues are now in vogue.

    After the reunion we traveled with them to stay with them in their home in Munich. This is where my father courted my mother and married her. This is also where my older brother and sister were born. My father's story is quite unique in its own way.

    Like my namesake, he landed in Munich as a DP with no home or country to call his home. He had kissed his mother goodbye at the train station at home never to see her again before she died. He was 19 years old. Now he was in Munich beginning a new but unpredictable life. He was heavily involved in the church and the priesthood was encouraged by many. But he knew what he wanted. He wanted to get married and have a family.

    He'd heard of a family of refugees from his home country living in a little village outside of Munich. There were 3 single daughters and he had it in mind that he would marry one of them if she appealed to him and he to her. One of those daughters became my mother.

    She was the oldest of the three and of her 5 kids I am most like her. But the first 2 were born in Munich and I had the pleasure of seeing their tiny apartment above the small church where my father worked as the janitor and handy man. In the old country he was a promising woodworker and craftsman and I had a sense of pride when he pointed to the altar and told me that he built it. He did a fine job.

    Anyway, the rest is history. If there's anything I learned from my father and my namesake it is this:

    Have courage, faith and dignity. The rest will take care of itself.


    Cheers!
     
  9. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    Yo Romangod,

    Good to see you on here today visiting too, bro'. Not too many of us So Suave Vets from our particular "Era" still around these days---but the newer recruits seem to be holding it down pretty well.

    And thanks for sharing your story about your Dad and the other men and women of his generation. One thing that stood out to me about what you wrote was just how "different" the attitudes of men from earlier generations seem to have been from the way many of our generations' attitudes are.

    Back in the day, seems like men spent less time just talking about how hard things were and spent MORE time just going ahead and "doing it HARD"---because that was the only way they had to do it.

    Hell, I remember about a decade ago when my grandmother was still living, even "she" would just sit and listen to some of the things her children and grandchildren would complain to her about and then she'd just look at us and say:

    "What...is THAT what's got you SO upset? THAT ain't no problem. Child...I could TELL you about some REAL problems..."

    Now, did our moms and dads have problems like us? Sure they did.
    Did they screw up and make terrible decisions like us? Yeah.
    Did they disappoint us in many ways from time to time? Yeah, to that too.

    But in my observation, the difference between many in their generation and many in our generation boils down to two words:

    NATURAL RESILIENCE.

    To me, they just seem to have been made of "sterner stuff". And whenever they DID internally "crack" under the pressures of life, it was more so the exception as opposed to the rule.

    So to those particular kinds of dads (or father figures) who loved us and tried to do their best for us---I believe THOSE men deserve to be honored, not just on Father's Day----but on every day.

    And one more thing I noticed:

    The older I got, the more I came to understand that ultimately, the greatest thing that my grandfather and father ever gave me was my LIFE----and the ONLY things I was ever really able to give them back in return was:

    • Respect
    • Recognition
    • Appreciation
    • and Forgiveness

    ...which are all aspects and expressions of LOVE, of course.

    I'm hopeful that that was equal enough. Or, as my granddad himself might have said:

    "An EVEN swap is NO swindle."


    V.U.
     
  10. zekko

    zekko Master Don Juan

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    Yeah, I was reading all that and I was thinking "Why didn't my dad tell me all those little gems of wisdom?". Or maybe he did and I just wasn't listening. Really, my father died right probably right around the time when I would have started to seek his knowledge out on things (I was 15).

    On the other hand, my dad was always there, he and my mom stayed together and gave their all to raising their kids, so I can't complain.

    That first saying Believe what people do instead of what they say, especially when what they say isn’t ever what they do, that sure sounds like the forum's "Action, not words" advice when dealing with women. I've said repeatedly there's very little that's actually new here. Most of it goes back a long way.
     
  11. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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    Yo Zekko,

    When I read your quote above, it reminded me of another old saying that I believe is ALSO true:

    There's NOTHING really new happening today---just NEW people going through the same OLD things----for the FIRST time.

    I'm not sure where I first heard that one before, but I obviously never forgot that one either.


    V.U.
     
  12. guru1000

    guru1000 Master Don Juan

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    Good to see you romangod.

    Inspiring. I actually had the same thought the other day. Many--whether peasant or king--take for granted, complain, or sulk in their present circumstance. Very few can appreciate what they do have in the NOW--irrespective of how little or how much. For, if we do not appreciate what we DO have, then why should we be given more? Insatiable thirst is not be frowned upon, as long as we appreciate each step of the journey.
     
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  13. romangod

    romangod Master Don Juan

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    Hey, Victory!


    Great to see you, also. I still look in and see if anything interests me and if there's anything I might be able add my two cents worth. You're topic of Father's Day stirred my sentiments and reflections and I'm glad you posted it.

    The attitudes of the previous generation were certainly different than today's. Men didn't need to learn how to be a man. It was forced on them. The trait I most admire in my father and his ilk was their courage without ego. They were a product of their times and did what they had to do whether it was out of their conscience or simply the need to survive. Nobody forced my father to go to war. He volunteered because he felt he had to stand up for King and country. He believed in something. I admire that. Especially being so young. There's nothing more "manly" than risking your life for something you believe in.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I love your website. You're on the money every time.
     
  14. VladPatton

    VladPatton Master Don Juan

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    Damn, that was great, man, I really enjoyed reading those quotes and agreeing with them. Thanks for posting!
     
  15. romangod

    romangod Master Don Juan

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    Guru,

    Great to see you, too. You're also one of the guys that gets "it". Life is a journey not a destination. If you're not growing, you're dying. To be sidetracked by folly and ego pursuits only kills the spirit. Trust me, I've mastered folly and it was hell.

    We are mind, body and soul. It amazes me how many people neglect all three.

    Happy Father's Day.


    Cheers!
     
  16. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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  17. Victory Unlimited

    Victory Unlimited Master Don Juan

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