My father was fifty years old when I was born. My mother was forty. They worked, they rarely went out, and dinner table was for eating. Not talking. Family vacation was not in the family lexicon.
My older siblings where around and their memories of family life may be different than mine due to a near decade of separation in our ages. My teen aged siblings lives of angst, rebellion, and strife dominated the dinner table conversation. What little of that there was when the “no talking at the dinner table rule” was successfully imposed. But the power of teenage drama in the nineteen sixties would burst through on occasion. Needless to say communication with me falling in the “children should be seen and not heard” category was scarce, yet impressed me deeply when I was spoken to. That is why this little gem imparted to me by my father stuck with me.
“Go do something even if it is wrong.”
So with that guidance which I misunderstood I was ready for the world.
But doing the wrong thing didn’t seem like the right thing to do, so I did as all children do and ignored anything that my parents told me. I did that for may years and for many years the fear of doing the wrong thing kept me from doing many things.
It was only when the life I had built slowly, then quickly evaporated, that those words spoken by my father long ago came back with new clarity. Whether or not it was his initial meaning I will never know.
As I said earlier my parents didn’t talk to me much and have long since laid down their mortal coil.
My new read on this pearl of wisdom was not a suggestion to do something wrong, but a call to action to do something. It may be turn out to be the right thing. It may be turn out to be the wrong thing. But not doing anything will inevitably lead to regret and an eternity of asking yourself “what if” or “if only” again and again.
“One should not appraise human action on the basis of its results” ~ Bernoulli
Now I doubt my dad would know Bernoulli if he bit him in the butt.
Since I never asked him I will never know.