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The Most Bulletproof Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me

Warning: Don’t read if you don’t like swearing

By Jamie JacksonPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
The Most Bulletproof Advice My Dad Ever Gave Me
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

My dad and I didn’t get on (quick aside: the above isn't a photo of him, this is just a man who comes up in the image search results when you type in "dad").

Not getting on with my father meant, even though he was a very practical man, he didn’t show me how to be practical also. He didn't want to share and I didn't want to listen. We were poles apart on everything except this.

He fixed cars, decorated houses, put up sheds, yet not for a single moment did he take me aside and explain how he did those things.

Consequently, I've grown up with a deep disinterest in practical activities. How does a radio work? Don't care, mate. What's the best way to hang a door? Couldn't give a toss. What's the function of a carburettor in a car engine? I still don't know because it bores me to tears.

You get the idea.

When I went to university, this gulf of personality between us grew. He was a working class labourer and had no experience of higher education whereas I was living as a student, going to lectures and writing essays. I may as well have been in a parallel universe to him. We couldn’t relate to each other.

Still, in all those years, one piece of advice did slip through the net and was passed on to me. This was a real father-son moment where he metaphorically sat me down to explain something. He said:

“There are a lot of c*nts in the world, don’t be surprised when you meet one of them.”

Yes, it’s not Shakespearian, I grant you, but as this was his sole guidance, I've turned it over in my mind for the longest time.

It wasn’t even his to be fair, he got it from one of his drinking buddies in the pub, but like all sage advice, it was passed down by word of mouth through the ages (possibly, I’m making this bit up) and now this advice was with me.

Unpacking it, I’ve concluded it boils down to “stop taking things personally.”

In my father’s defence, that’s wise advice. It’s even one of the four agreements in Don Miguel Ruiz‘s best selling book of the same name.

Put bluntly, c*nts are c*nts and that’s that. Don’t let them spoil your day. Don’t allow the toxicity of other people’s lives to bleed into yours.

I recently read a stoicism quote from Roman Emperor and general big bollocks Marcus Aurelius, who said:

“When you run up against someone else’s shamelessness, ask yourself: Is a world without shamelessness possible? …There have to be shameless people in the world. This is one of them.”

Replace shamelessness with c*nt and you’ve basically got what my dad said. To be fair, he was a lot like a Roman emperor in some ways; he drank a lot, liked his own way and ruled with an iron fist. Oh and he headed up an army of 20,000 troops.

The point is, a world cannot exist without c*nts. “There have to be shameless people in the world… this is one of them" is a good mantra for when you cross paths with a toxic a-hole.

People acting shitty is like glue, it sticks to you dries on and then you can’t do anything but look at that crusty hard lump of negativity on your favourite jumper.

But Marcus called it. My dad called it. His drinking buddy called it.

People being c*nts is almost always not to do with you.

It’s easy to let our ego get in the way and take things personally, but it's not about you. Let it go.

If small outside events you can't control end up controlling you, you're doomed. Developing inner resilience is the way to cultivate a positive mindset. People will try to rock your boat. You don't have to let them. You have control.

Don't concern yourself with other people's negativity. They can wallow in their shamelessness and you can carry on being awesome.

And being awesome is always a good goal.

Because there are a lot of shameless c*nts in the world and you don’t need to be one of them.

Amen, father. Amen.


About the Creator

Jamie Jackson

Between two skies and towards the night.

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