Papa Didn't Preach: Excerpt

Personal Ethics

From Papa Didn’t Preach...



It’s best to be a truth teller. If you make a promise, do your best to keep it. If you say you’ll call, call. When you say you’ll go, be there. Dad said that once some people learn that you’re someone who cannot be counted on, they will deal with you as little as possible.

Dad said that people could not be blamed for having such an attitude. He suggested that I be the same way. If I learned over time that someone could not be counted upon, I should do my best not to find myself in need of that person’s assistance.

Even if your commitment was not carved in stone, written in blood, and you did not sign a contract to that effect, Dad believed your word should be your bond. When I give someone my word that I’ll do something, I try my best to honor it. As a child, my favorite adults were the ones who kept the promises they made to me. Dad was the only man who never disappointed me.

That doesn’t mean I was never angry with him. Whenever he criticized me for anything, be it my weight, my hairstyle, or even clothes I was wearing on a particular night, I’d get very testy and defensive. After that, I’d be as cool as a cucumber. I still don’t take criticism very well.