Best Family Advice On Friendship and Love

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This is a story I came across in a doctor's waiting room magazine. It is from an old Reader's Digest. It is from August 2006. If you don't already subscribe to this little gem of a magazine, you will probably want to after you read this.

I am not a hugely emotional person, but this story sure pulls at my heart every time I read it. It makes me want to be a better parent and person. That is the best family advice we can give to each other.

The article title is:

"What Friends are for."

Compiled by Margaret Polanyi. This Parenting Advice is quoted from the third story of friendship of the three stories in the article.

One Golden Nail

"As a child, I was good at making things. I used to make tissue-covered airplanes with a rubber band inside. I would wind up the propeller and let the plane fly from the living room into the kitchen. Most of the time, it would land on the kitchen table. But one day when I was four, my mother was out in the back, and the door was open, changing the direction of the draft. The plane turned and landed on top of the stove.

Because my mother wasn't there, I foolishly took a three-legged stool, climbed up on it and reached across to retrieve my plane. I fell and a stew cooking on top of the stove fell on me. I was scalded badly. There were burns on the back of my head, both arms and about 60 percent of my back.

I was confined to bed for nearly eight months. My father was at my side every night. As my scars healed and my body started to become very itchy, I remember him scratching my back very softly and reading me stories every evening-a range of things, including articles from Popular Mechanics, which he loved, and adventure stories such as Mutiny on the Bounty.

Because of the burns on my back, I used to be on my stomach all the time. With pillows, my father arranged my bed so that I could peek over the window ledge and keep in touch with the outside world. There was construction going on across the street, and I watched the men dig and pour concrete. I thought they were building a palace - but it was actually a small addition on the side of the building.

Every once in a while, a young, good-looking man appeared on the scene, smoking a pipe, with a roll of drawings under his arm. Whenever he said anything, everybody agreed. I said to my father, "I want to be him. Who is he?" My father found out. He said, "He's called an architect." So I said, "Well, I'm going to be an architect."

Years later at my high-school graduation, my father quietly handed me an envelope. For a moment I thought, Maybe he's giving me a cheque! My father apologized that he could not give me anything like other classmates were getting - such as tuition for university. It was after the war and we were poor. We had lost our store after my father was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp here in Canada simply because we were Japanese Canadian.

Inside the envelope was a very short poem written in his beautiful handwriting. My father had made it up. The poem read: "Into God's temple of eternity drive a nail of gold." What it meant was to work with integrity and honesty, and strive for the very best that you could contribute to your fellow man.

That poem has guided my life ever since. My father did not ask me to build God's house or even, as an architect, to design it. He only asked me to drive one nail-but to make it gold. My father was an inspirational friend and, to me, a hero."

Raymond Moriyama is one of Canada's most respected architects and the principle designer of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.


Pass this story on to anyone who needs it. Read this best family advice tonight to your family, before bed. Print it off and put it inside one of your main cupboards or on the fridge. Let it open discussion on what you and your spouse think is the Best Family Advice you can pass on to your kids.

At Parents In A Pickle you will find out ideas and get family advice on Positive Parenting that will help you establish rules and boundaries for your child without causing additional conflict. What great advice.

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