Happy Birthday, Billy!

Posted by Sue on Jun 28, 2013  

Today is my father’s 82nd birthday. Instead of the sharing an organizing tip with you this week, I’m celebrating his well-lived life with words from a plaque which has hung over his desk for as long as I can remember. The words inspired his parenting, and continue to inspire my own as my children grow into adulthood. But speak about more than parenting: they are guides to living a life of dignity, honor and self-respect: something Dad has done, and is doing, very well.

A Parent’s Wish for His Children
By Jerry Spinelli

  • That they seek their happiness not so much at the finish line, as in the running;
  • That they have the strength not to lift tremendous weights, but one fallen friend;
  • That they learn to fight their own battles with a never-ending string of temporary cease-fires;
  • Not that the occasion make them smile, but that their smile make the occasion;
  • That their bridges be built not over rivers, but over misunderstanding;
  • That their wealth be not in their banks, but in their hearts;
  • That they gain power not over others, but over themselves;
  • That they never fail to leave the stage before their applause is done;
  • That they bow not to little people with big titles, but to big people with little titles;
  • That they keep strict account not of favors owed to them, but to others;
  • Not that they never know grief, but that they never know joy the moment after;
  • That their names be household words not throughout the land, but in their own households;
  • That their monuments be found not in public parks, but in the lives of those they’ve touched.
Thanks, Dad.
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