Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A wise man and his parents . . .

Just browsing in the latest (December 2006) Reader's Digest. I don't normally expect much wisdom to fall from the mouths of Hollywood stars. But the interview with Will Smith is really quite amazing. Here is a man who has acquired "wisdom beyond his years" . . . primarily because, it seems, he had some really wise parents.

Two very brief vignettes. I wish more kids would learn these lessons!

When my father got out of the Air Force, he started his own refrigeration business.

I might have been 12 and my brother 9 when one day he decided he wanted a new front wall at his shop. He tore the old one down--it was probably 16 feet high and 40 feet long. And he told us that this was going to be our gig over the summer.

We were standing there thinking, There will never, ever, be a wall here again.

We went brick by brick for the entire summer and into winter and then back into spring. One day there was a wall there again. I know my dad had been planning this for a long time. He said, "Now, don't you ever tell me there's something you can't do." And he walked into the shop.

The thing I connect to is: I do not have to build a perfect wall today. I just have to lay a perfect brick. Just lay one brick, dude.


And the second story:
My mother just could not stand improper English. If you ran out of the house screaming, "Where y'all gonna be at?" she would say, "Hopefully y'all gonna be behind that preposition."

My grandmother would say, "A yawl is a boat, baby."

From pp. 93 and 94 in the December edition of Reader's Digest. --A very worthwhile interview. And the article includes a note at the end: "Listen to more of the Will Smith interview at rd.com/will." --I haven't been there, so I can't vouch for it. But based on what I read . . . --I may "see you there"!

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