Twelve Lessons to a Daughter from a Not so Perfect Father If you have a teenager or can remember being one, you

are well aware that they are not tremendously keen on listening to adults. I have a 17 year old daughter, and while she politely listens to my ramblings, I can tell by her expression that I am not making a big impression on her. But there are things I would like to tell her, and I thought maybe blog post might get her attention, and I hope it will be here for a while (I don’t think Google is going anywhere). So here are 12 lessons from a father to a daughter. MONEY- As you know, your father has not been very successful in this department, but don’t let that make you think I don’t know what I did wrong. I made many mistakes with money, but if I could do it all over again, I would be a wealthy man. Follow these rules and you will always be financially secure. 1. Always save 15% of what you earn. Always, no exceptions, no matter what the amount you earn, 15% goes to a saving account. 2. Only use credit to buy a house or car, others wise, never use borrowed money. If you need a credit card for traveling etc, pay it off at the end of the month, never carry a balance. I have made reasonable amounts of money, and if I had followed these rules, my quality of life would have been more or less the same, and I would have had much more peace of mind and solid financial security now. DRINKING & SMOKING - Again, your father has drunk far too much, and while I have things under control now, I spent too many years boozing it up. Here I really know what I am talking about, so listen carefully and you will be okay. Never drink alone, ever. If for whatever reason you need a drink, go to a bar, but never drink alone. Make it a rule. Drinking is a good thing, as long as it always remains a social activity. Dinners, parties etc. That is when you should drink. Try and keep it to the weekends, and learn to catch a nice a little buzz and keep it going all night instead of getting plastered. Smoking, again, too many years smoking, though I finally did give it up. This one is easy, just don’t start. Do not ever try a cigarette, and you will never become a smoker. LOVE & HEARTBREAK- This is a hard one to figure out and I am sure that you will not pay any attention to me now, but what I am going to tell you is the truth. Falling-inlove is a mild form of insanity, and it is all about you, even though you will think it is all about him. While falling-in-love might be one of the most wonderful feelings you will ever have, it is like a drug, and once it is gone, there is not so much truth to the feeling as you once believed. Our society believes in the myth of love, but it is just that, a myth. Real love is something else. Much more profound, more grounded. Chances are you will break a few hearts and have yours broken a few times too. It can be the most horrible feeling you will ever know, and only time heals it. (For me novel writing has been very cathartic for it). But it is much less important than you imagine. Love yourself, respect yourself, and hopefully it wont hurt too much when it happens. WORK- I have been hired and fired more than most people. But I will try and say a few words here. Find something you like and believe in, and don’t worry too much about money. Be respectful to your bosses and co-workers, don’t get involved in office politics, and don’t have any affairs at work. For me, in the end, I realized that the only

How can you tell the difference? Very easy. and pays you reasonably well. fear. Sex is to be enjoyed to the fullest and not talked about. DO NOT talk about past sexual relations to your current partner. In general. The quality of the art always lies in the difficulty and complexity of the conflict it creates and the completeness of the resolution. First. the dogmatic answer is the one that says. It is like an appetite. but from prejudice. what is dogma? Dogma is a firm belief in something (or the apparent belief in it) that doesn’t come from experience or data. ARTS. as well as in the sciences and spirituality. painting. art or philosophy. It serves no useful purpose. when I have tried to do other things. POLITICS& DOGMA. What you do. I put it here only because it is important. literature. sculpture. and don’t borrow money from them. so you will have to figure this one out on your own. “Because that is the way it is!” and . turn and run. If you have a “lost weekends. You should enjoy sex to the fullest without hang-ups or guilt. FAMILY.For me family has always been a bit overwhelming. Any piece of worthwhile art must resolve a conflict. time is by far the best critic. Talking about sex is a poor orphan to the real thing. That is why there are banks (and remember. Ask.Humans have an innate need for art. I only got in trouble. Try and have a job that is satisfying.When you see or hear dogma. makes you feel useful. SEX. the highest realms of human culture lie in physics. in politics. It can be found in religion. For me it is a vocation. and ritual. Assume you only live once. don’t read anything that won’t be around in 50 years. or personal interest. It is a curse whether in politics.thing I can do is write. NEVER go into business with friends.This one is so obvious that I will remain brief. only borrow for a house or car). but one place you will always find it is in the arts. FRIENDSHIP. For me the family is an enigma. in the real and timeless works. I don’t know. Take full advantage of it.Sex is a wonderful thing. Have as many friends as you can and the more diverse the better. If you ask someone why they believe something. and especially as woman. First. there is no need to publicize your sexual life. I haven’t been able to forge strong relationships. it can be a terrible burden. It is like dragging dead bodies to a dinner party. you can satisfy it at McDonalds or with the most exquisite cuisine. or weeks” let them remain lost. one of the nicest parts of being human. Just be discrete. Whether you have this type of vocation or not. in pop-culture or in “high culture”. It can raise its ugly head in many places. Remember. It can come in many forms. it is very much in your interest to be discrete. Pursue the difficult in music. you can only taste this bizarre fruit of being human for a brief moment. who you do it with and how you do it should remain in the intimacy of you and your partner. religion. and the best way to be sure of that is to read what has already been in print for 50 years. Not in your run of the mill Hollywood film. For me. architecture. You certainly don’t need one. The most important thing you will feel as a human is the sense of the sublime. drama. real spiritual experience and the arts. I have had a rule with books that has served me well.

It may reveal itself in the arts.. and the other part is our “need” for narrative. The key to the spiritual experience is transcending yourself. Don’t get caught up in bizarre theories or big personalities. history etc. The best political philosophy is a practical humanistic one. Someone has an authentic religious experience or is truly enlightened. The problem is we think that we are our egos. The essence of life. Why do we get in our own way? It makes no sense. Think honestly. is uniquely correlated to our spiritual sensitivity. Catholicism. Our own religious background. RELIGON. it may appear anywhere and everywhere.I put this right after Dogma. Read physics. Remember. is it a real problem. Don’t let all of this sour you to the spiritual life.the non-dogmatic answer is the one that give you arguments. and it is absolutely clear to me that I am. the less juice you give it the better. and its temple is the sect of romantic love. data and facts. I am now 42 years old. The Ego serves an important purpose in human development. and of course in nature etc. drags us out of childhood and into adolescence. but what their followers can’t feel they turn into rules and “sacred books”. and finally allows us to have an identity outside that of the tribe or village. and we are not. especially astrophysics. Buddhism and Hinduism have been very helpful for me. whenever you have a problem with someone. Most conventional religions are filled with dogma. or at work etc. in physics and other sciences. When you become part of the whole. . it became a national creed. let it go. Practical. they are usually dangerous. democratic institutions are the safest way for man to govern himself. The Ego is a difficult thing to manage.. But being Catholic for us. and the words of Jesus have always inspired me. Part of it I think is the need to create myths to fill collective needs. It separates us from our mother’s bosom.People are usually their own worst enemies. The ego is wonderful for blind ambition. the sublime. Dogma leads men to hell. THE EGO. is much different than the simple words that Jesus spoke. But like a solid rocket booster that has freed the spacecraft from earth’s gravitation. But we are not our egos. it is a wonderful vehicle to reach the spiritual world. because it is similar. involved politics. When you hear politicians spewing dogma. you will be far ahead of the rest. just another peg in the wheel of an enormous universe that is when and where you will feel the sublime. it must be jettisoned. at least on the Irish side. but if you can do it. or your Ego needing juice? If it’s your Ego in need of juice. is an interesting question. and why. What was added later to what he really said.. and have always been my biggest obstacle to peace and prosperity. denounce them. we are something much more profound and universal.

and try and have the most pleasurable. but those are all a bit obvious. bravery. it must forge a really difficult conflict. money. status. take the risk. You can avoid it as irrelevant and unanswerable. and then resolve it originally. If you feel brave. And no one has a clear answer and no one ever has had one. love filled life you can. Fill the doubts with pleasure. And a life is like a work of art. This is the eternal struggle not just for you but for all persons who have ever lived or will live. live a life that would take a miracle to resolve. You can live for romantic love. you only live once. medals. and I think you will get along okay. the existential angst with love. But remember.MEANING. There are different ways to approach this.The best for last. .