“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I reached 21, I was surprised at how much he had learned in seven years.”
This is a quote attributed o Mark Twain that illustrates the age old problem that needs to be addressed in a father-son relationship. The father can too often hang on to the good old days while the son wants dad to get with the times. Both are equally right and wrong. What the father learned by life’s experience is valid; and what the son wants his father to learn by new technology is equally valid.
I cite the following example — the computer and Internet information.
When I traveled to Disneyland a few years ago, GPS was new as a travel guidance system. To think that I could not read a map and route myself to Anaheim, California was an insult to my sensibilities. Listening to where I needed to turn and watching the route on the screen mounted on the dashboard confused me with unnecessary information. I told my traveling companion to remove the damned thing so I could think and concentrate on my map routed system.
Now I realize the value of getting with the times.
I have had several road trips since Disneyland and have used GPS to guide and direct my route, time and distance. To stubbornly resist change can hurt.
There was a time when I did not think man could improve on the 1955 Chevrolet. I also resisted the change of computer aided drafting systems. Ignoring the new technology has made me obsolete in today’s market.
However, the ability to think, plan and be informed cannot be accomplished without individual thought learned by life experience. Therefore, life’s lessons learned by the father must be shared with the son, so the son will know what buttons to push.
Larry E. Sims