My father was the oldest of 3 sons. Grandpa Anton never had any toys growing up so he never believed in toys for his sons. My grandma Katy, however, one day bought my dad a small toy for 10 cents but with strict instructions, 'Hide it before papa come home.' One day he forgot and grandpa Anton found it.
'Vats dis?' he asked. My dad said, 'It's my toy.' Grandpa Anton's response was, 'Foolishness!' and threw it into the wood stove so at least it would add to the heat in their cold Minnesota home.
My dad, Tony, bought my sister and I a lot of toys but never spoiled us. He was a hugger and full of fun. He improved SO MUCH from his father in one generation. What dad did NOT do was spend one-on-one time with us. He was also gone most of every week as a travelling salesman. The real and intimate time I spent with my father before he passed away at age 88 was as an adult when I took HIM on trips and had him move in with ME.
Myself, I work hard to spend quality and quantity time with my kids and my wife every day. We spend one-on-one time together and family time together. My wife and I do not spoil the kids but strive to give them all the love and discipline they need. Yet, I know I have my weaknesses. What really scares me is what I do not know about myself. What things am I saying and doing that will forever get my children to wish, 'If only papa had...' For I, too, want to make quantum leaps in improvement like my father did from his father.
My son carries the burden of improving over me to his son, and so on.
Learning Lesson: Rather than waste time complaining about what your parents did or did not do or what your boss and organisation does or does not do, look at what they did or do right and be grateful.
Next, think of all the things you can do differently with your family, your work team, your department. You cannot fix anything in the past. You cannot always fix your parents, bosses or company. You CAN and SHOULD fix communications, systems, processes and invest your time where it makes the most sense. These things you can control. What a wonderful use of the time you have been given in life.
Each generation has an obligation not to repeat the mistakes of the previous generation. Each generation has an obligation to do the best they can with what they have been given.
M8icahel Podolinsky CSP