Don't Be A Dick!

communication mindset parenting

My son is graduating from high school.  I’ve raised him the best I knew up to this point, but on the threshold of manhood, I felt that he needed some male advice, in addition to whatever wisdom I’ve shared with him so far.

So I did what I always do when I need advice, help and support.  I go to my clients.  My clients are so amazing that if I had to pay them (instead of the fortunate reverse) there wouldn’t be enough dollars in the world to match the value of their wisdom and heart.

I asked my male clients this question, “If you could travel back in time but knew what you know now, what is the number one piece of advice you would give to your 19 year old self?”  Every response was deep, touching and human.  Volumes could be written about each.  But today I want to share the one that resonates so much for me and I wish someone had laid it on me when I was 19 and trying to figure out who I wanted to be as an adult.

“Don’t be a dick!  That’s my Golden Rule for life.  Every other rule falls under this one.  Basically, if you follow this one rule, you don’t have to remember any others.”

Ron V. is an entirely self made tech giant - a success by any standards you choose to value.  Ron is an inspiration and an education.  This is a man who has created a life of quiet purpose; one that is at once prosperous as well as meaningful.  He says that the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you want done to you.” is not such a great rule.  We are all different, with varying desires, standards and expectations.  So how one person wants to be treated can’t be assumed as a universal standard.  But “don’t be a dick” doesn’t leave much room for vagueness, and it applies to all of us regardless of our gender.  Being a dick is not a personality trait, genetic disposition or tendency.  It’s a decision.  The choice not to be one is also a decision.

So in this most unprecedented graduation month, put on your mask, stay 6 feet apart, and kindly tell your pride and joy, “Don’t be a dick!”  Now they’re ready to go out into the world.


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