My homegirl Renae of the ever-inspirational In Her Shoes blog put together a wonderful Father’s Day post featuring yours truly. I was asked to share the best wisdom my dad taught me over the years.


After considering all the priceless bon mots and tidbits of advice my father has offered over my 30 years of existence — some of which he has shared right here — it was difficult to choose the best. But I came up with this:

“When I was a rebellious teenage bella, my dad always repeated two phrases. The first was, “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” We kids used to clown him for that cliche and it was repeated most often when we had to study for exams at school, but it’s proven to be so true in many other circumstances. My dad taught me the importance of hard work, focus, and diligence and those lessons have stood me in amazing stead. Without the lessons he taught me, I wouldn’t be Afrobella today.”

Very, very true.

So you may be wondering — what’s the second phrase? It’s this —

“there are mad people everywhere.”

And sometimes, they don’t know that they’re mad!

Mad meaning crazy, as the English tend to say. I know many of you know what I mean but I wanted to clarify. That particular piece of advice has saved me quite a bit of drama and heartache through the years.

My father is a very real, down to earth, smart, supportive man with a measured temper and a tendency to pontificate. That’s been passed along to me. I’m feeling a bit down that I couldn’t hear his voice today, but it’s for a great cause. He’s on a cruise with my mom! Happy Father’s Day, dad — wherever you are, know that I love you and respect you tremendously!

Thanks again to In Her Shoes for the opportunity.

What’s the best advice your father’s given you?

Filed Under:Uncategorized


Fortitude1913 says:
June 21, 2009, 9:52 pm
This is wonderful! Blessed are we daughters whose fathers' presence made an influence and impact in deed and word. Please take a look at my FD post "In Praise of Black Fathers" when you get the chance:
Alicia says:
June 22, 2009, 8:30 am
It's good you gave shout to the fathers. They often do not get the props they deserve. I have been blessed to have to have a fantastic dad and know others as well. Thanks for this.
Urban Sista says:
June 22, 2009, 9:04 am
LOL! My Bajan parents would tell me “there are mad people everywhere" too! Nice post for all the daddies out there who made a significant difference in the lives of their children.
Denise says:
June 22, 2009, 10:55 am
As usual, a great post 'Bella. I'm fortunate to have a loving, wonderful Daddy too! His most recent advice to me has been "Don't nag your husband" --LOL-- not necessarily profound, but still good words to live by:)
RiPPa says:
June 22, 2009, 11:26 am
Your father sounds just like my dad. But I guess it's the Trinbago thing. This post threw me back to all the sayings, quotes and colloquialisms of my youth. Sometimes I hear them in my head and all I could do is laugh in appreciation.
pets says:
June 22, 2009, 12:13 pm
Great Father's Day post! He has also said "Never say "never"."
Kenya says:
June 22, 2009, 2:50 pm
My dad, who is one of the few loves of my life, always told me that your attitude determines your true!!!
dee says:
June 22, 2009, 5:49 pm
I'm one of those kids who doesn't have a father. I can tell you that the one thing my uncle sometimes says is "I thank you". For some reason, when it's something really special that I've received, that's what I say instead of just "Thank you".
LBell says:
June 26, 2009, 8:36 am
To very loosely paraphrase Mark Twain: The older I get, the smarter my father gets. :) By that I mean that a lot of the things he used to tell us as kids make more and more sense now that I'm an adult. I'll share two things he says: 1) You can't tell grown folks what to do. 2) Nobody's harder on black people than other black people.


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